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EASY TO .READ.
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BY EMMA E. BROWN.
AUTHOR OF "THE ONE SYLLABLE BOOK," ETC.
D. LOTHROP & COMPANY,
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BY D. ILOT! HOP & COMPANY.
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1RETNA BERG is a little
girl who was born in- the far
North. She does not live there now,
but she likes to tell me what she
used to see and do in that strange,
bleak land. The days and nights
there are six months long-just
think of that! But the people do
not seem to mind it much. They
sleep just about as many hours as
we do, and they learn to do all their
work by candle light when they
have no sun. The sledges that take
them over the ice and snow look
something like big cradles on run-
ners. One day when Gretna and
her little brothers were rolling a big
snow-ball up to the house, they saw
something' coming along the road,
now on all fours, and now standing
upvstraight like a man. What could
it be? At first they were afraid, and
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ran back to the house. Then Fritz. the
oldest brother, came out again and the
monkey looked down the road. "Per-
haps he wants to show us something,"
said Gretna. So all the children ran
down the road to see. The monkey was
delighted and ran ahead on all fours.
Gretna was close behind and was
the first to see a small black spot in
the new-fallen snow. The monkey
began to dig in the snow with his
fingers. Then the children saw a
poor man in the big, white drift. The
children helped him up and led him
to the nearest house. A bowl of
nice hot broth was given the man
and after he had taken it he told
them his story. He had travelled all
the way from Italy, with his monkey
and his fiddle. He was going to find
a brother who lived in the north of
Russia, but, somehow, he had lost
his way. He had had nothing to
eat for two days. Poor man! It
was no wonder that he fell down in
the snow faint with hunger. If it
had not been for Beppo, the monkey,
and those kind little children he
would surely have frozen to death.
Beppo had a good dinner that day,
as well as his master. How the
children did laugh when he danced
a jig and turned head over heels! He
had a little gun and a cap and coat
just like a soldier's. When his
master made a sign with his finger,
Beppo would take the gun and
make believe load it; then he would
shoulderr arms," aim, fire, and go
through the whole drill as if it were
great fun. He had a little stick,
6"1 he would
'just as if
A it were a
O III a)s r
___ told them
sa, the lit-
tie girl and boy he had left at home in
Italy. It was hard tfr them to part
with Beppo, but he had promised to
get them another monkey when he
came back. Beppo and the fiddle
would help him pick up a good
many pennies on the way, and the
monkey was to be given to the little
cousins they had never seen, in
Russia. Gretna's papa and mamma
were very kind to the poor Italian.
He stayed with them until he was
quite strong and well.
When the weather grew a little
warmer, and the short summer be-
gan, he said he must be on his way
again. The children were very
sorry to say "good-by" to Beppo.
Karl tried to dress up his little kit-
ten in some doll's clothes and make
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him carry a stick for a gun. But
the kitten did not seem to like it as
well as the monkey.
Gretna says they used to play
down on the beach when summer
came. All along the shore in Swe-
den there are high, gray cliffs, rocky
islands, and dangerous reefs. The
waves dash up on the beach with
.. . .
a loud roar. They wear off bits of
rock till they are as round and
smooth as marbles. These, Gretna
and her little brothers and sisters
used to pick up and carry home to
play with. Sometimes they would
dig wells in the
soft sand, with big
shells, and let the
tide come in and
"fill them up with
But Fritz liked
to build forts, best
of all. Every lit-
tle inlet of the sea
leads to some beau-
tiful valley in among the steep
c:erags. 'Here, all through the short.
hot summer lovely flowers grow.
Gretna says she used to find tall
white lilies, and vines covered with
glossy green leaves and bright red
blossoms. One day all the children
started off for a walk.
Suddenly they heard a funny
" peep," 'peep," among the bushes.
Gretna climbed in through the vines,
and there, hidden by great trumpet-
eshaped flowers, was a bird's nest,
full Wf' little birds! The flowers
.looked like what we call morning-
glories and were twined all about
the nest. A bright butterfly had
come to sip some honey out of them.
The mother bird was not there;
she had flown away to get some
worms and bugs for her little ones.
The children stayed a long time,
watching the nest' and waiting for
the mother bird to come back. Baby
Karl who was just learning to creep,
Fritz and his
he would try
he -crept out of the yard: as fast as
his little knees would carry him..
He could not see the children, so
he kept on through the wood-path
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just back of the house. Spitta, the
little dog, followed him, and then
ran far ahead. Baby Karl tried to
call him back, but
Spitta had found _
something. What n
do you think it
was? It was round
as a ball, and all
covered with sharp
points. Could it
be abive? It rolled over and over as
,,fast as Spitta could run.
The little dog had never seen any-
thing like it before.
He pushed it first with one paw
and then with the other.
Suddenly he started back with a
loud howl. The children heard him
and ran back to see what was the
matter. Poor Spitta! He had been
playing with a hedgehog, and there,
in each paw was a long sharp spine
that hei could not get out.
This is the only way a hedgehog
can protect himself. He cannot bite
like a dog or scratch like a cat, and
so he throws these spines or prick-
les from his funny little body when-
ever he is in danger.
Gretna took Spitta up in her tirms,
and tried to get the spines out of his
poor little paws.
Then she.went back to the house
and held him just as she would a
baby. It was funny to see him all
done up in a blanket, holding out
his paws for Gretna to doctor!
All this time Baby Karl had been
creeping off into the woods. He
thought it was fine fun to pick the
Bright flowers and berries all along
the path. But at last he grew very
-/A- -L v f l. A
self to sleep.
Now it so
that the chil-
was out gun-
ning; he had
up a nest of
As he push-
ed away the long grass where, they
were hidden, he saw- what do you
think? Why! little Baby Karl fast
asleep with the tears still wet on his
rosy cheeks. Poor mamma! she
had been hunting everywhere -for
her baby, and when she saw papa
coming across the fields with little
Eiarl in her arms, she 4ust cried for
joy. She could not wait for them
to come up to the house, but ran out
to meet them. Oh! how sh% hugged
and kissed the dear baby!
Little Karl opened his blue eyes
very wide, and tried in his baby talk
to tell them where he had been.
"Just think what light have be-
Scome of my little boy' if papa had
not found him !" said namma with
a shiver; "I shall never dare to let
him go out of my sight again !"
On their way back to the h'use
a red fox darted by them with a
poor goose in his mouth. Mamma
hugged Baby Karl closer still, and
"It was a kind,
watchful Eye andz4
loving Hand that
took care of my
little boy in that
Before n ighto
Karl's papa had
found the fox's
hole and killed
the whole brood.
But the woods in that part of
Sweden are full of wild animals.
Gretna says. they often heard the
wolves howling about the house -at
night. When mamma came home
with Baby Karl in
her arms, and told
S- -the children where
Spapa found him
they forgot all
about Spitta and
'his lame paws,
It seemed as if
they could not hug
and kiss their dear
baby brother half
"We will never
run away from
MAMMA AND BABY KARL. im again," they
said; "nor speak cross to him, even
though he broke all his best play-
things." There was one cornel in
the woodshed where the children
always played on rainy days.
Papa's old boots were here, ai.
a funny green
/- jacket he used to
wear when he
( There were some
Sold gray blank-
ets, too, that some
soldier uncle had
used, in camp, and
So a lot of broken
tools. With these
" Fritz and Klein
would get up all
-sorts of plays. Their favorite game
was hunting elephants," just as
they' had seen it pictured in their
story books. The old gray army
blankets put over boxes, they called
" the elephants, and all the children
armed with broken tools played
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the part of hunters! One day when
they were playing out in this old
woodshed, the wind began to blow
It shook the whole building, and
the children were so frightened
they all ran back into the house.
Baby Karl began to cry, but the
nurse took him in her arms, and
sat down by the old fireplace.
How the winds whistled round
the chimney! But Baby Karl only',
heard the soft lullaby, and was
soon fast asleep.
The other children watched the
storm from the window; they could
see the angry sea dash against the
rocks. They wondered if any boats *
were out on the water.
The roar of the waves sounded
like thunder. The surf looked like
great sheets of snow.
Fritz rolled up a piece
of paper, and played
it was a spy glass.
"O Gretna! Klein!"
he cried, "I do see a
boat close by the rocks.
The waves will surely
dash it all to pieces. Oh! how I
wish we could help the poor
men that are in it!"
Just as he spoke the boat struck
against one of the nearer rocks.
It was close to the shore, but the
waves Vvere so high that no one
dared to go out in a life-boat to
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Suddenly, Fritz saw two great
dogs leap into the surf.
They swam toward the wreck,
and then he lost sight of them.
These dogs belonged to one of
the fishermen who lived close by
The children had often seen
them when they _
were playing on
One was black
and white with
long shaggy hair.
This was Eric.
The other was
of a dull tan color. TO THE RESCUE.
His master called him Einar.
In such a storm as this, Eric and
Einar were better than life-boat,.
It was not long bptore the child-
ren saw one of these dogs come
swimming to land
with something in
They wished they
were near enough
to see what it was.
Crowds of people
were running to and
THE DANGER. fro on the beach,
and they could hear a loud cheer-
ing as Eric swam ashore.
A little while after, Einar came
back with something in his mouth,
and again the people shouted.,
Fritz begged his mother to let
himn put on his rubber boots and
big waterproof cape, so that he
could run down to the beach.
He was sure he could do some-
thing to help, if he were only
there! The other children longed
to go, too, but mamma said that
Fritz was the only
one who was old
enough, and strong
enough, to be of
Fritz felt very
much like a man '
as he put on his .
coat and boots, and
ran down to the shore. He got
there just in time to see Eric swim
ashore with a little fair-haired child
about as old as Baby Karl.
Eric had found it upon the wreck
and brought it safe to shore.
The father and mother were both
drowned and no one knew to whom
the little child belonged.
"Oh papa!" cried Fritz, "let us
take it home to be a twin brother
for Baby Karl!"
Then all the people laughed; but
Fritz had taken such a fancy to the
child, that papa said he might carry
St home and keep it till they found
Some one to claim it.
Ibrie growled a little as Fritz
took the baby off. He seemed to
think that no one had quite so
good a right to it as he!
All the children were watching
at the window for Fritz; all but
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Baby Karl, who had just waked
up from his nap, and was now
ready for his bread and milk.
As Fritz opened the door Karl
was just folding
his little hands
together as he
had seen papa
do when he said
Oh! how "the
when they saw
what Fritz had
"A baby?" cried mamma, "why!
where did you get it? "t
Then Fritz told them how Eric,
the brave dog, had saved the baby's
life, and how he had begged papa
to let him take it home to be a
twin brother to little Karl.
But when the children put the
two babies side by side, they saw
that no one would
ever take them to
be twins. Karl
was a funny roly-
poly little fellow,
with red chubby
cheeks and blue
eyes full of 'mis-
chief. The new
baby was a shy, quiet little thing,
with great brown eyes, dark hair,
and a pale,, sober face.
It was hard to tell which was
They all learned to love the new
baby very much, and hoped that
no one would come to claim him.
But one evening as papa was
looking over his paper, he saw
something that seemed to trouble
Shim. Gretna was
S lr mending her stock-
r in gs at the other
Side of the table,
and asked him
What he had found.
Then'he read aloud
to them all, an an-
swer to the notice
he had put in the
paper, the very
week the baby was found.
Somewhere in Switzerland there
was an auntie and a grandma who
wanted the baby very much.
So of course they must, give it
up. All the next
day the children p
could talk of noth- -
Fritz sat down
and wrote a letter
to baby's auntie.
He told her how
very much they
loved it, and Wvant-
ed to keep it.
Then all the children put a line
at the end. Even little Karl. tried
to write something. Fritz' let him
hold the pencil, while he wrote:,
"Please do let my twin-baby stay!"
But when they took the letter
to mamma she said:
Much as we love the dear baby,
* we must remember it does not be-
long to us. It is better to make up
our minds at once to give it up."
Then she called ..Gretna to her and
said she would
Sell her just what
The little girl
often wrote letters
for her mamma
whose eyes were
not very strong.
She had a clear,
pretty hand, and
would write down
carefully all. her mamma told her.
It was not many days after this
that the baby's auntie and grandma
came. They took the baby home
with them, and the children were
A few weeks after, a great box
came from Switzerland. On the
cover was written:
To Fritz, Gretna and all the
little brothers and sisters."
,I can't begin to tell you all the
beautiful things inside that won-
There was a lovely clock for
Gretna, carved so that it looked
-just like a Swiss cottage. When
it struck the hours, a little bird
came out of one of the windows
and sang a song.
Fritz had a bow and arrow and
Klein found a beautiful music
box with his name on it, and then
there were all sorts of curious Swiss
toys for the other children.
Next day another box came. It
was larger than the other, and open
on one side just like a hen-coop.
And in it-what do you think
they found? I
Why! a pet fawn-"to take the
place of their little playmate-" so
the letter said.
It was a beautiful creature with
long silken ears, and soft brown
eyes. Itwould eat out of the chil-
dren's hands, and follow them wher-
ever they went.
A year ago, Gretna and all her
brothers and sisters came here to
America to live.
They brought the fawn with then
and although. it has two khors nowT
it is still very tame a rl -gentle.
..Gretna likes the new home in.
America, but she is never tired I
of telling- about her life in Sweden.
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