The Bmldwin iby
WHAT THE NORTH WIND DIID ONCE.
Y,_ \J ~Uh
gunnp 4aacie for little olks
JESSIE M. E. SAXBY
AUTHOR OF "THE ONE WEE LASSIE," "STORIES OF SHETLAND," ETC., ETC.
Around the glittering wonder bent
The blue walls of the firmament;
No cloud above, no earth below-
An universe of sky and snow !-Wiittier.
JOHNSTONE, HUNTER, & COMPANY
PRINTED BV M'FARLANE AND ERSKINE,
ST JAMES SQUARE.
" Ye are better than all the ballads
That ever were sung or said,
For ye are living poems,
And all the rest are dead."
THE NORTH WIND AND THE SNOW, 9
A STORY OF KING CHRISTMAS, .13
CHRISTMAS HERALDS. 19
AUNTIE'S SNOW DREAMS,. .20
STARVED, ... 24
A QUEER HIVE, 25
WHAT THE NORTH WIND DID ONCE, 42
THE GIANT'S PIE, 45
ANNIE'S BIRTHDAY, 52
TEE'S HAMMER, 54
THE WITCH-CAT, 57
OUT IN THE SNOW, 65
TOMMY KITTEN, .. 67
NEW YEAR BLOSSOMS, 76
JOHNNIE FROST AND WEE CHARLIE, .77
THE TOUCHING STORY OF THE HUNGRY SCORE, . 8
AN OLD MAN AND A WEE BOY, 85
LITTLE MAID MARY'S ADVENTURE, .89
NEP'S ACCOUNT OF HIMSELF, 94
NOW CAVES, ......97
BABY-LESSONS, . 18
LITTLE HARRY'S PETITION, 109
THE NORTH WIND AND THE SNOW.
IT was evening, and winter time. The children were
gathered around the parlour fire. Outside the cozy
home the North Wind shouted and the Snow fell fast.
"Christmas will soon be here," said one child.
"I wonder why the snow comes at Christmas time ?"
I don't like the sound of the winter wind," cried a third.
"I dreamt that the snow-flakes were fairies," a little girl
whispered; and her brother added," I believe they are angels'
Some one told me that the North Wind does a great deal
of harm," exclaimed a big boy.
"When the North Wind doth blow,
Then we shall have Snow,"
IO Snow Dreams.
sang a merry lassie; and a merrier lad chimed in-
"And that, you must know,
Makes one's spirits quite low."
"How horrid are the Wind and the Snow," said all the
Then father and mother looked at each other, and smiled.
"I like the wild songs of the North Wind," said mother,
softly; and father added, "I think the Snow is very beautiful."
Just then a sweet fairy voice sang outside the window:
Like a dream I come. and go,
Snow you call me, falling Snow.
Could you see with other eyes,
You would know,
That an angel from the skies
Is the Snow."
The gentle voice of the Snow had scarcely been lost among
the grasses, when the North Wind was heard, sweeping his
strong fingers across his wild harp chords, and then he sang:
"Beautiful Snow, I have followed you far
From the land that lies lone neathh the Polar Star.
I saw you descend from a winter cloud
To wrap your loved earth in a spotless shroud.
I have wooed you in darkness yet loved you long:
Ah! tender my heart though so wild my song."
"Yes, your song is wild, North Wind," answered the coy
Snow-spirit, "and though your bright kisses make me sparkle
The North Wind and the Snow. 1
for joy, yet I am just a little afraid that your wooing interferes
with my duty to the dear sleeping plants of my mother earth.
I came here to cover them up from the cold and the darkness,
but I am afraid you are not mindful of that. When you are
fondest to me, you are most hard-hearted to them, North Wind!"
"And some people say that you are cold-hearted, Snow,"
the North Wind answered sorrowfully.
"Is it not you who makes me so?" the spirit answered.
",You freeze me with your breath, and your songs are so wild
that I fly frightened into hollows. Why are you so rude?
You are strong and brave and free. A king of winds, why be
so impetuous and froward?"
"You are so beautiful, Snow, I cannot but follow you and
woo you-ah, and win you, Snow "
Nay, not so fast! I must stay to purify the earth, to guard
the flowers until the sun comes back. Can you not find some
good work to do, North Wind, until the gentle spring returns ?"
And what then ?" the North Wind asked, and his question
shook the Snow in showers from the swaying boughs. "And
what then, fair Snow?"
Why then," she whispered tenderly, I go to be your bride
in the far, far North. Leave me to my mission now, for when
the sunbeams come to carry me away your wooing will be
ended, and I shall descend from the clouds into your arms, to
make my home in your great ice land."
And must I go and leave you here, to be kissed by the
sunbeams and carried in their car to the clouds ?"
12 Snow Dreams.
Even so, and yet that will bring me nearer to you again.
Has it not been so with every Snow-spirit ? Do we not all
find a home at last in your domain?"
"Yes, yes," sang the North Wind, rejoicingly, "we woo and
win at last."
Yet he lingered, sweeping his fingers over his harp chords,
until the snow crystals vibrated with low-toned echoes. He
lingered, for he too had a mission to earth. Rude and froward
he seemed, that mighty King of Winds, but he had a warm
heart, and there was work, as well as wooing, for him to do.
Who can unravel the mystery of good in seeming evil ? Who
can trace the beneficence which follows in the path of a Storm
Ah sang the North Wind, "people call me cruel, but if
they knew- "
Ah!" sighed the Snow, "people call me cold, but if they
You are a tender spirit of mercy," said he.
You are a minister of justice," said she.
"And we are the friends of earth," said both, "and our
marriage song shall be:
"Could folks see with other eyes,
They would know
That the wildest winds that blow,
And the deepest drifts of snow,
Are but Blessings in disguise,
Oh, hee oh!"
KING CHRISTMAS AND JOHNNIE FROST.
A STORY OF KING CHRISTMAS.
ONCE upon a time there was a high hill. I daresay it
is still where it was, for hills do not often run away.
This hill was always white with snow, white all over, and
there were two paths upon it-one leading from the top to
the bottom, the other leading from the bottom to the top.
These paths were always covered with ice like glass, so smooth
and slippery that you could not climb up.
You could not climb up, no more could I; so we could
never have the fun of sliding down, which would be very
great fun indeed.
But once every year some one climbed up that hill; how
he managed I cannot tell. It did not seem any trouble to
him; it seemed as if he could slide up-hill just as easily as
you and I can slide down.
Now, the little man who climbed the hill every year used
to stand on the top of the hill and stamp three times with
each foot, and say, "King Christmas, are you coming?"
This little man's name was Johnnie Frost.
Once upon a time, then, Johnnie Frost went sliding up the
hill. He had on a warm coat made of fur, and he had a
warm cap all made of fur too; his cap covered up nearly all
14 Snow Dreams.
his face, you could scarcely see anything but a pair of merry
blue eyes and the tip of a nose, which looked very blue too.
Johnnie went up the hill one very cold morning; he was sing-
ing all the time, for he was full of fun. When he got to the
top he stamped three times with his right foot and three
times with his left foot. He tried to put his two hands to his
mouth, but he could not do that, they just then happened to
be frozen fast to the bottom of his pockets; so as he stamped
he could only open his mouth very wide indeed and shout
very loudly, King Christmas, are you coming ?"
Then an old man lifted up his head out of the snow, just as
you lift your head off your pillow when you awake, and he
pushed the snow away from off him just as you push away
the bed-clothes when you mean to get up; then he sat up in
the snow and began to rub his eyes, and then-very bad
manners for a king-he opened his mouth a very long way
and began to yawn.
"What! has not your Majesty had sleep enough ? said
Johnnie; "what a lazy fellow you are !"
Now, if old King Christmas had not been the most good-
natured king in all the world, I rather think he would have
taken Master Johnnie in one of his great hands and thrown
him down into the river at the bottom of the hill, for it was
exceedingly rude to speak in such a manner to a king. But
old King Christmas only rubbed his eyes still harder and
opened his mouth still wider, and there he sat for quite half
an hour on the top of the mountain.
A Story of King Christmas. 15
"Your Majesty will rub off your royal eyelids," said
Johnnie at last, "and there will then be nothing to go to
sleep with next year."
Right, my lad," said the King; and he left off rubbing.
Your Majesty will never get your royal mouth shut," said
Johnnie again, and you will look a dreadful fright."
Right, my lad," answered the King; and he left off yawn-
ing in an instant, for he remembered that if he did not take
Johnnie's advice, Johnnie might freeze him stiff. But there
was not much fear of that; Johnnie would not have done it
on purpose, and if he had done it by accident, all the fires
which people were lighting to boil their plum-puddings would
soon have made him thaw again.
"Is your Majesty ready?" said Johnnie; "all the little
children in the world are looking for you. They have been
pressing their little round noses against the cold windows for
a long time looking for you, and saying, 'King Christmas, are
you coming ?'"
Little dears," said the King; and he jumped up, and then
walked along the top of the hill until he came to a great heap
of white snow; a great square house it was, with a big door
made of ice.
King Christmas had no lock to his door; he struck it with
his foot a very hard blow, and it flew open in a moment.
Then he walked in, and in walked Johnnie too. Oh, it
was so pretty all inside the palace of King Christmas!
You should have seen the toys he had there! There were
16 Snow Dreams.
fifes, and fiddles, and drums, and dolls, and carts, and wooden
horses, and hoops, and tops, and balls; every sort of toy in
fact; and besides the toys there were pictures, and sweetmeats,
and pies, and puddings, and cakes, and turkeys, and large
sirloins of beef. There were coats, and furs, and gloves, and
dresses, and I really cannot tell you what beside, there were
so many things.
There was no window in the palace to let in the light,
but there were a hundred thousand little candles, blue, and
yellow, and red, and green, and white, all burning brightly;
and there was holly on the walls, holly with red berries-
oh, it was all so pretty !
Johnnie Frost always liked to go in and look every year;
and he was never late in calling King Christmas, for he was
in a hurry to see the pretty things, and that was the reason
why Johnnie sang so merrily as he went up the mountain.
Old King Christmas was a very big man; he had a very
large beard quite white; he had a very large head, with very
long hair quite white like his beard, and he never wore a
cap or hat, only a crown made of laurel, and holly, and bay,
Besides this, King Christmas had very large pockets in his
coat; they were very large indeed, and he began to fill them
with all the pretty things in his palace. It seemed as if he
would never finish cramming them with things of every
At last he had put all the pretty things into his pockets,
A Story of King Christmas. 17
and he blew out the candles and went out of his palace and
shut the great ice door, and left it for pretty things to grow
and grow until next year. Then he trudged away. His
pockets were very heavy indeed, a great weight to carry, but
kind King Christmas did not mind a bit. Then he sat down
on the top of the mountain at the top of one of the paths,
not the one by which Johnnie Frost came up.
"Ready, my lad ?" said the King.
"Ready," said Johnnie, sitting down on one foot with the
other stretched out before him.
Then the King sat upon one foot in the same way, stretch-
ing out the other as Johnnie did.
"Ready ?" asked the King once more.
"Ready," said Johnnie, again.
"Very well, said the King, "One-Two-Three and away!"
Down they went sliding over the path, the King first and
Johnnie close behind him. The King laughed and Johnnie
laughed. The King shouted "Ha! Ha!" and Johnnie
shouted Ha! Ha! Ha!" The King's long hair streamed
behind him in the wind, he was sliding so fast; then
SJohnnie pulled his freezing hand out of his pocket and
caught hold of the old King's long hair, and so they went
sliding down the mountain, shouting "Ha! Ha! Ha!"
"Mind my pockets," cried the merry old King, and Johnnie
minded them, and so the two went down the mountain. The
dry snow flew before their feet and went pelting against all
the windows, where the children were flattening their little
18 Snow Dreams.
round noses against the glass; and the children danced
about and clapped their hands for joy and said, "Here comes
Then King Christmas went all over the land, knocking at
every door, saying, "Any little children at home?" And if
people answered "Yes," he put his hand in his pocket and
pulled out some pretty things. Old King Christmas was full
Sometimes he would dress himself in a gown and a cap
and bring in a fine plum-pudding.
Sometimes he would dress himself up like a postman, and
take pretty things out of a letter bag.
Sometimes he looked like a railway porter.
Sometimes like a merry uncle or a kind old grandpapa;
and all the time Johnnie Frost would be peeping at him and
running beside him from door to door, wishing that next year
would come; and I think that is what all the children wished
too, for the last thing King Christmas heard as he went back
to the mountain, was the children saying, "Will it be long
till next Christmas."
T HE Christmas Heralds come on airy winglets
To cover earth with downy plumes of snow;
And young eyes, laughing under glossy ringlets,
Gleam gladder as they watch the white wreaths grow.
"Are they not angels clad in garb celestial ?"
The children cry as softly falls each flake;
"Yes, and they come to deck His home terrestrial,
SIn purest robe for Baby Jesu's sake."
AUNTIE'S SNOW DREAMS.
HE Snow was falling silently and fast. Already it hung
upon the branches like pretty night-dresses on sleepy
children; and that made Auntie think of one little child in
a snow-land, who always talked about herself and her brothers
as "snow-babies," because they had all been born in the
winter time and under the Polar Star! Yet the child was an
English Rosebud, and Auntie knew that the strong, grand, free
North Wind was painting the rose leaves a glowing crimson;
and that the pure, soft, silent, white snow-flakes had written
their own stainless beauty on the spirit of the English flower.
Auntie thought about the Rosebud, and the Snow, and the
North Wind, until her thoughts became woven into dreams,
and each dream became a snow-picture, and each picture
became a snow-rhyme.
SNOW-PICTURES AND SONGS IN THE SNOW.
PICTURE I.-AN OLD MAN.
OH ho! blinding Snow,
Let me see which way to go;
You are cold, and I am old,
You make tne shiver and tremble, Snow!
Auntie's Snow Dreams. 21
PICTURE II.-CHILDREN FALLING ON THE SNOW.
OH ho! out in the Snow,
Over at last, I told you so !
When children pout, saying "shall go out,"
They often chance to fall down in the Snow.
PICTURE III.-CHIMNEY SWEEPS.
OH ho Sweeps in the Snow,
Don't their funny faces show;
Our fires must blaze on these cold days,
And that brings the chimney sweeps out in the Snow.
PICTURE IV.-A LITTLE STREET ARAB.
OH ho! rags in the Snow!
That will never do, oh no, no !
She is shivering, see, and warm clothes have we-
Who'll help a little cold child in the Snow?
PICTURE V.-BIRDIES ON A FENCE.
OH ho birds in the Snow,
Four little sparrows perched all in a row;
They are singing "tweet, tweet, we have nothing to eat"-
Who has a crumb for a bird in the Snow?
22 Snow Dreams.
OH ho! under the Snow,
Cover me up and I shall grow;
I shall come again without spot or stain,
Bright and white like the bright white Snow.
OH ho! sledges in Snow,
How funny they look, how fast they go;
By the sound of the bell you may always tell
When sledges are coming over the Snow!
PICTURE VIII.-BOYS MAKING SNOWBALLS.
OH ho! balls of Snow,
The further they'roll the larger they grow,
Come with me, what fun it will be,
To roll you up in a ball of Snow !
PICTURE IX.-A SNOW MAN.
OH ho frozen Snow,
We'll make a Guy before you go;
The sun they say will melt it away,
But don't you care for the sun, good Snow !
Auntie's Snow Dreams. 23
PICTURE X.-SNOW FAIRIES FLYING AWAY.
OH ho melting Snow,
Since you're going, be quick and go;
We have had our fun, and yours is done-
Go as fast as you can, and good-bye, Snow !
How Auntie's English Rosebud in the Snow-Land delighted
to hear of Auntie's Snow Dreams! The little one had Snow
Dreams of her own, that were not unlike those of her
And once when the heaven-sent Snow was going back
to the clouds, leaving earth to sing its Easter anthem,
that English Rosebud wished to go with the Snow; and
Auntie, dreaming pleasant stories to tell the children, never
dreamed the most lovely, most real dream of any-of how
"Snow soft, snow white, snow silently;
Our darling bud up-curled
And dropped in the Grave, God's Lap,
Our wee red rose of all the world."
S* >^ ^
STIFF and stark on the pavement
A poor little birdie lies,
Whose song in the days of sunshine
Rang joyously in the skies.
Only a little birdie-
Yet pleasure and pain it knew;
It lived on this earth like others,
And it liked to live like you.
It stole to your open window,
And its starved wee spirit leapt
As crumbs that it longed to gather
All into the fire were swept!
Thus it died of the pangs of hunger,
Just as one of us might do;
And He values the lives of birdies,
The God who made them and you.
fl P ,jll "^
A QUEER HIVE.
A QUEER HIVE.
"" T ELL me a story, Mammy," said Horace, after he had
"I done learning his lessons, and eating his dinner, and
bumping his head, and unlacing his boots, and getting things
off his mind generally. "Tell me a story, Mammy."
She was sitting in her rocking-chair, warming her toes, and
wishing the cobwebs could be cleared out of her head; and
she said to little Horace, "what shall the story be about ?"
About me," replied the bright boy, as quick as you please,
and his Mammy laughed, and told him about her having cob-
webs on the brain, which prevented her from finding a story
that had to be made up ; but Horace only smiled and settled
himself half on the hearthrug and half on the fender, and
looked up for the story, so what could she do but try to find
"I will tell you what I saw in the fire, just a little ago, it
that will do," said the Mammy; and Horace replied quite
condescendingly that it would do very nicely; so she began:
"Once there was a little man, he might be old, and he
might be young, the fire knows best, and he owned a very
curious hive. It was not like a beehive, that contains nothing
26 Snow Dreams.
but bees, and wax, and honey; nor was it like a wasp's nest,
nor a bird's nest, nor any kind of nest which has only one sort
of creatures in it. Oh no!
In this hive there dwelt a number of strange insects, differ-
ing as much from each other as Negroes differ from Norse-
men, looking as much like the same species as do Esquimaux
and English, and yet proceeding as truly from the same
source as do the Chinaman and the Celt. Thus all the tribes
of insect-like beings were called by one name, just as all
human kind are called men."
Horace. "Were they really insects ?"
"The fire didn't say, it only told me they were like insects,
and it spoke of them as bees, butterflies, etc., so I do as the
fire did, I call them by the names of the insects which they
"First of all, when the hive was new, there was only a
tribe of flower-insects in it. They grew like flowers, but
they had life like creatures, anrd they had souls which could
leave their bodies whenever they wished, and which floated on
invisible wings. I suppose if these beings had been real
flowers, their souls would have been called their perfume by
people who cannot see spirits; but being just the creatures
that they were, their souls were just souls, and not smells.
They grew very sweetly and silently, and opened their fairy
cups and bells so cheerfully when other tribes began to dwell
in the hive, and to come to them for sweetmeats. And indeed
it was wonderful how soon the hive became filled with busy
A Queer Hive. 27
queer folk. There was one tribe like bees, and they were
always busy, storing honey and making wax, and attending
to their young ones, and never meddling with anybody's
affairs except their own. Sometimes they borrowed sweets,
of which to make honey, from their neighbours the flower-
tribe, but oftener they went and brought ready-made honey
from other hives; and a party of them was always to be
found wherever a drop of sweetness had been placed. Yes !
they were certainly a class of honest, hard-working, respect-
able insects, but just a trifle heavy in their flight, and just a
little tiresome, with their perpetual business-hum.
"Another tribe which took up its quarters in this queer hive,
was very unlike the bee one. They were like butterflies, and
had most lovely colours and most fairy wings, and they
fluttered here and there, never still an instant, sometimes
getting in the way of their busy neighbours, when a quarrel
would be the result; but their favourite occupation was
trying how far they could fly above the hive without striking
against anything or getting lost. Unfortunately they did
not possess the same magnetic chain which drew the bees
and the souls of the flowers safe home, no matter how far
they strayed; so those poor butterflies very frequently lost
their way and never came back to the hive.
"There was also a very disagreeable order of Hiveites
which resembled gnats so much that the fire thinks if you
had seen them, you would certainly have believed they
were true gnats."
28 Snow Dreams.
Horace. If all the beasts were so like the things they were
said to be like, let's just say they were the beasts themselves
and be done; it's much easier to remember a gnat' than a
'thing like a gnat! "'
Mammy. "I daresay you are right, and as the fire doesn't
mind, I shall not speak of the Hiveites as being like, but just
"Well! those gnats were small, but oh! how they did sting!
and the worst of it was that they were very quick in their
movements, so that the others could not catch them, and
many a sore sting they gave, but fortunately there were not
a great many of them, so that the harm they did was limited.
But there was another tribe in the hive that was very formid-
able indeed, and these were the wasps. They never even pre-
tended to work or do anything that was useful, but went buzzing
about spreading fear and consternation wherever they came.
"The little man who owned the hive ought not to have
allowed those wasps to rampage in that way, but he took
no notice of the mischief they did, and so they feasted
on honey they had not gathered, and killed their innocent
neighbours, and taught the foolish ones to be wicked, and
were really a great nuisance in the hive.
I think the fire said that the most numerous tribe was that
of the moths. They looked exceedingly harmless, and were
very silly ; but they never molested any one, and flitted noise-
lessly about on silver wings that looked quite as lovely as
those of the butterflies.
A Queer Hive. 29
"It was only the flower-tribe that knew how those moths
hurt the fine tapestry hangings of the hive by hiding their
eggs in its soft folds, and then those eggs grew into hungry
caterpillars, and we don't need either the flowers or the fire
to tell us what harm comes of that.
Then there was the fly tribe, and they were certainly harm-
less enough, noisy and blundering at times, and usually ended
their course prematurely by running against a spider's web,
but they never hurt any one but themselves, and they always
had something lively to talk about. Their buzz was the
worst thing about them, and it wasn't very troublesome, so
that on the whole the flies were rather popular among the
I ought not to have left the spider tribe to the last, for
it was not the least important by any means.
"They were ugly creatures, as most spiders are, but they
had a work to perform in that hive which was very necessary,
and they performed it energetically. They had webs in every
corner where a web could be made to hang, and they drove
a brisk trade in the butcher line, you may be sure, seeing that
there were so many idle and foolish insects fluttering about,
as if they had not an idea worth a drop of dew in their
"But all that came into the webs were welcomed by the
spiders; wasps and butterflies, bees and moths, gnats and
flies, they were all alike to the spiders, and that was not what
was meant by any means when they were allowed' to go into
30 Snow Dreams.
the hive and keep order. They were intended to destroy the
wicked insects, and of course if the foolish ones ran against
a cobweb and got caught, that was their own fault; but the
spiders had no business to set traps for busy bees and pretty
However, the truth was the little man who was King of the
Hiveites never tried to keep order amongst them at all. He
let them all do as they pleased, come and go as they liked,
quarrel whenever they felt disposed, and the consequence
was that things went all wrong together in the hive.
Oh, it was an odd place; but it was very sad to see such
unruly subjects and such a foolish king, and the fire felt it all
Horace. I wonder if the fire felt when I upset the tea-
kettle into its very heart."
Mammy. If it felt sorry for the little man who was King
of the disorderly Hiveites, I think it must have felt sorry at
being quenched by a stream of water from a black tea-kettle.
But, as I said, the plain truth was all the tribes did just as
they pleased, and minded nobody except old Morpheus the
King's servant, who used to walk about muffled in a grey
cloak; and when the insects grew very riotous, as they usually
did every evening, Morpheus would go and wave his hands
over the hive and drop his grey mantle upon it, and then all
the restless creatures inside would swarm and buzz in a con-
fused way, but very soon they would stop work and fun and
mischief, and drop listless and stupid in all directions.
A Qzueer Hive. 3
"You would have thought they had all been struck dead,
all except the flower-souls, and they were allowed to go out
over the world to gather sweetness, which they gave away
to their little King as soon as they came back.
It might have been a good thing if Morpheus had kept
his grey cloak hung always over the hive which had no order
or law in it, but the fire said that could not be; so every
morning the insects were free again to buzz, and fly, and
sting, and work, and fight, and think 'all of self and nothing
of your neighbour.'
"This sort of thing went on for a good while until the
misdeeds of the Hiveites got their little King into trouble.
"The fire did not say what the trouble was, but it must
have been something very bad for a king to be in, for the
flames flickered in the most agitated manner when telling
about it, and a few cinders dropped quite subdued by the
recollection, so I did not like to ask more about the King's
trouble, and the fire skipped that part of the story."
Horace. "I wonder what it was; perhaps he broke a
gold dish, or dropped his crown, or forgot how to spell his
Mammy. I think it must have been something much
worse than any of these; but whatever it was, the little King
got into trouble through the naughtiness of his Hiveites, and
he was very unhappy.
Now, it happened one day, when the little King was very
sad, that a tall grave man looked into the hive (which was in
32 Snow Dreams.
a terrible state of confusion at the time), and then knocked
at the King's door, and said-
"'My friend, your Hiveites are a very disorderly set of
people. If it were not for the flower-tribe, which I see is still
very numerous, and that is a hopeful sign, I should say yours
is one of the most ill-mannered nations I ever came across.
The tribes seem to have forgotten their lawful avocations,
and obedience to their owner; and Morpheus tells me that
even he is losing his old authority over them, for some of
the moths and gnats have found out how the souls of the
flowers keep awake and go to gather sweet dew, and they
try to leave the hive too, but of course get into a mess.'
"'I know they do,' sighed the King; 'they trouble me
very much by going out after the others, but I can't help
You had better help it,' replied the Grave Man. 'Believe
me, if you do not assert your authority as sovereign of the
hive, and make some strict laws for keeping order, you will
find that your hive will soon be in a state of rebellion and
confusion which you will be powerless to put right. And
then what will your brother-kings think of you, or what will
your King say when you cannot bring him your proper
tribute of home-made honey ?'
"This, that the Grave Man said, so vexed and frightened the
ownerof the hive, that he determined upon at once setting things
right; but when he peeped into the hive, the noise and confusion
were so great that he could not make himself seen or heard.
A Queer Hive. 33
'Dear-a-me! I shall never be able to set these creatures all
straight,' said he to himself. 'I wish my grave friend had
told me how to do it-yes-How-that's the difficult word.
Can't you help me, Morpheus?' he asked of his faithful old
servant, but Morpheus shook his head.
Now the Hiveites had seen the Grave Man, and had heard
all that he and their little King had said, and the flower-tribe
whispered sweetly to him:
"' We could tell you what to do, King, dear; will you take
us for your counsellors?' But they spoke so timidly and
low, that their master could not catch what they said, and
before they had time to repeat the words, a splendid butterfly
flew hastily against his ear and said that the right thing to
do would be to turn everybody out of the hive, and have a
regular good house cleaning. 'We can amuse ourselves in
the sunshine nicely till you are ready to take us back, and
some of us may not want to come back, and some of us you
may wish to leave out; but your best plan, my King, is to
clear out the hive: send good and bad off together, and
choose your own company when you have got a clean hive
to put them in.'
"'Thank you, that is a grand, a brilliant idea-almost as
grand and brilliant as your own wings, beauty,' exclaimed
the King, and instantly proceeded to follow the butterfly's
"You may believe there was a fine hubbub when that
clearing out began.
34 Snow Dreams.
"The butter, and not butter, flies, with the gnats and moths,
went off willingly enough, but making a great noise all the
same; but the bees and wasps rebelled most buzzingly.
"The bees gathered around their honeycomb and prepared
"The wasps crept into the flower-cups, hoping to escape
detection that way.
As for the spiders, they felt very keenly the injustice of
their master, the disobedience of their fellow-subjects, and
the comforts of the hive; therefore quietly ensconced them-
selves in dark places, and obstinately refused to budge an
It was a dreadful time for the little King, and he was very
foolish to have taken the advice of no one wiser than a
butterfly. But he determined on subduing all the tribes, and
though they had a great deal of right on their side, he had
might on his, and got the best of it.
He swept away the cobwebs, and with them the spiders.
He fumigated the honeycomb, and down dropped the bees
as helpless as if they had been dead. He found the wasps in
the flower-bells, and forgetful of the sweet creatures that had
been his chief joy, he ruthlessly struck every flower from its
stalk, and trampled it and the wasp concealed in it to pieces.
"It was a terrible war, oh very terrible, but just when the
little King was standing victor over the last of his rebel sub-
jects, the Grave Man looked in at the door of the hive, then
tapped its owner on the breast, and said, with a grave smile-
A Queer Hive. 35
"'My friend, I fear you have not gone the right way to
work in attempting to establish order. Killing and curing
are two very different things.'
"The little King looked ruefully around the desolate hive,
and felt very sad and very sorry for his poor naughty
insects; not at all like a conqueror did the King look and
"'Why didn't you come to me for advice?' said his
"'I was in such a hurry I did not take time to think,' was
the frank reply. 'Some one else proposed clearing out the
hive and having a good cleaning, and I did that.'
"'Yes! you did-I suppose it was one of your silly
subjects who gave that advice,' said the Grave Man. 'Kings
should never follow the advice of their subjects in matters
belonging to the government of themselves.'
"'Is it too late to get your advice now ?' asked the little
"'No, I think we can save some of the rebels, and help the
innocent who suffered for the misdeeds of the others yet;
and I hope to see your hive repeopled with orderly tribes.'
"So to work went the little King and his friend.
"The first thing they did was to send a current of fresh air
among the poor stupified bees, who very soon began to revive
and crawl about, and were soon busy over their honey-making
"Then the cobwebs were washed away, and flower-roots
36 Snow Dreams.
planted in all the corners, and the old flower-roots were
tidied and watered; and very soon tiny flowers began to
grow up and to send their sweet souls abroad as before.
A few of the harmless flies, seeing the bees coming and
going in the old way, with their honey-bags filled, as if
nothing had happened, lighted on the hive, and on getting
back to their old quarters declared it was much nicer there
than in the wide world.
"'Shall we let them stay?' asked the little King of the
Grave Man; and the Grave Man smiled, and said, 'Certainly;
they do no harm, and a little fun is as good as honey.'
"Then a young spider, who had escaped the general
slaughter, seeing the flies return to the hive, went in also;
and a flower made room for him in the corner, telling him
in a kind neighbourly way that he was worth his room and
welcome, for wherever insects were inclined to be idle or
mischievous, there also ought to be the police.
And the Grave Man said much the same, only he added,
'Make laws, little King, and then all will work well.'
So the spider made himself comfortable, spread a beauti-
ful web among the flower stalks, and did his duty as police-
man of the hive in a most conscientious way.
"All this time the butterflies were flitting about enjoying
themselves after a fashion, but not feeling altogether happy
without a king and a home; and at last they resolved to
meet on the silver lining of a cloud to arrange about setting
up some sort of habitation for themselves.
A Qzueer Hive. 37
"What was their surprise to meet there a number of
flower-souls just arrived from the old hive.
"'We never expected to meet you among the clouds,' said
"' And we never expected to find you doing a very sensible
action,' laughed the flower-souls.
It was said so gently, and the butterflies were so good-
natured, that the speech was well received.
"'We were consulting about setting up some sort of a
hive for ourselves-larger of course-and finer-more butter-
fliey in fact-than the old home, but made after it, for it
wasn't a bad place to be in after all; and the butterflies
"'Nay, don't set up a new home, come back with us to the
old one,' replied the flower-souls. 'It is small, the dear old
home, and often rather too crowded for strict comfort; but
when folk don't quarrel it's wonderful how many find room in
a small space, and it has some queerious but very cozy
corners, we assure you, and really it is a delightful place to
be in, and it is growing bigger every day.'
"'But the King does not want us to come back. We
hear that he has become quite as grave as the Grave Man,
and is filling the hive with nothing but busy working tribes-
dingy coloured and sulky,'-and the butterflies curled their
antenna scornfully, and fluttered their bright wings in quite
a disdainful manner.
"' Ah i you are quite wrong, dears,' said the flower-souls,
38 Snow Dreams.
'We are neither dingy nor sulky, and yet the King cherishes
"'But then you are useful as well as beautiful,' replied the
other, 'you make sweetmeats, and you fly about everywhere,
bringing home all the lovely fancies that you meet; but we
poor butterflies do nothing but fly; and when we try to fly
far like you, we catch the fancies but we lose ourselves,
because we have not, like you, stationary bodies which draw
us home whenever we wish to go!'
"'Oh! you dear foolish people,' laughed the flower-souls,
'why, you were as useful in the hive as the bees, if you had
only known it, and not allowed yourselves to get so feather-
headed, but had used your opportunities in the right way.
"a' Your lovely wings and graceful lively ways were as
delightful as any foreign fancies we ever brought to our
King, and did us all good, for they made us think of things
better than honey, and when the bees wearied the King with
their incessant toiling, he used to enjoy having you to play
"' You amused and soothed him, and brought back his good
temper, and he misses you very much-even the Grave Man
wants you back, and we-ah! do you know, darlings, our
petals are pining for love of your wings, which they always
thought so like themselves.
"'We do miss you very much. Won't you come home to
the hive ?'
"At that the butterflies rose in a cloud, and, led by the
A Queer Hive. 39
flower-souls, flew straight home, where there was great rejoic-
ing over their return.
In fact they found themselves of use after all, and that
discovery made them exceedingly happy. But they could
not overcome their taste for travelling, so the flower-souls
agreed that they and the butterflies should go abroad together,
and the souls should lead their friends safe back, and in return
the butterflies were to love the petals of their sweet guides
for ever and a day.
What became of the gnats, and wasps, and moths, I never
quite understood, though the fire tried its best to enlighten
"There was a great row one day among the bees, and it
turned out that a wasp had crept in pretending he was a bee,
but the spider knew him, and told the flower, and the flower
told the King, and he killed the wasp at once.
"It was said, too, that sometimes a solitary gnat or moth
stole into the hive, and tried to establish itself in its old
quarters; but the wise little King, by the advice of his chief
counsellor the Grave Man, planted sentinel-flowers at the
doors of the hive, and the souls of those flowers were poison
to evil-doers, so it seldom happened that the little King's
dominion was ever visited (and never colonised) by the
wicked tribes who overran the hive before and created so
Mammy paused, and looked into the fire.
Is that all ?" asked Horace.
40 Snow Dreams.
Is that all, good fire ?" asked Mammy; and they both
looked intently at the fire.
"It is going out, so there can't be any more stories in it,"
"Well!" answered Horace, "I know who the little King
was. That was me, and the Hive was my head, and the
Tribes were my thoughts, and Morpheus was sleep-but the
Grave Man-who was he, Mammy ?"
"Look into the fire, Horace; there is one little flicker at
the lower bar, just in front of the cinder that spoke last:
no, the fire has gone out, it can't tell more-well, ask a
flower-soul to tell you; Morpheus is coming, my boy, so
And Horace asked the soul of the flower Thought, and
it said, that the name of the grave man was Conscience.
"Fear ye not therefore :" "not one of them is forgotten by God
ye are of more value than many sparrows."-LUKE xii. 6, 7.
O H, you sprightly, homely sparrow,
I can see you at the casement
Picking up our supper crumbs !
You have wings,-are earth-bounds narrow ?
Are you smitten with amazement
When the dark cold winter numbs?
Self-asserting and confiding
Do you know that we could harm you,
Or we might forget the crumbs ?
"Ah we sparrows get much chiding
For our voices never charm you;
But HIS Lesson through us comes."
WHAT THE NORTH WIND DID ONCE.
ONE day a little child went out to have a run on the
lawn, but forgot to put on a warm coat and hat.
The Wind was blowing keen and cross, and it said to the
"You've got pretty roses
On each little cheek,
But I'll steal them from you
In less than a week."
The child was very angry when it heard the Wind say
that, for it was very proud of its rosy cheeks. It had two
very red roses, one on each cheek, and a whole bunch of
cherries on its mouth, and it did not like the thought of losing
them; but instead of running into the nice warm house, where
the cold North Wind could not catch it, the child stayed out
of doors to quarrel, and it said-
North Wind, naughty, angry North Wind,
Come to steal my pretty flowers !
Go and take the glittering snowflakes
Falling from the sky in showers.
What the North Wind did Once. 43
Go and eat the frost and raindrops,
They are good enough for you;
I shall keep my pretty cherries,
And my pretty roses too."
And the child stamped its tiny foot, and scolded.the North
Wind, who only laughed, and whistled a wild tune as it
danced round the child and kissed its cheeks and lips, and
then went away, singing:
Oh such pretty flowers and berries,
Roses red and bright, ripe cherries
Stolen from a little dearie,
Who will soon grow pale and weary
Now its pretty flowers have vanished,
With the Wind to Northland banished."
Then the child became rather frightened, and shivered all
through, as it ran into the house and looked in the glass, and
found that sure enough all the red roses had gone.
And after that it became very pale and thin and ill, and
Mamma said it was all through going out and quarrelling
with the North Wind; but she was sorry for the child, so she
asked the South Wind to go and find the roses and cherries,
and the South Wind came to where the Babywinds had a
playroom, and there were the child's lost treasures.
So the South Wind brought them to Mamma, and she put
them in a spoon with some sugar, and the child ate them all
up, and very soon they came back to its cheeks and lips, and
44 Snow Dreams.
next time it went out it found the young leaves laughing
at the story of its roses, while the North Wind stole out of the
All that came of being naughty,
All that came of being rude;
Though the Winds are rough and restless,
Children should be always good."
THE GIANT'S PIE.
" ITELL us a real giant story, Mammy," said Horace.
"T "And don't let it be a story that can be explained,"
"But don't let it have a moral at the end," remarked
"It mustn't end sadly," pleaded Charlie.
So this was what she told them.
There was once a Mamma, who had some little boys-
little noisy, restless boys, who were seldom out of hot water;
and if you wish to know what "boys always in hot water"
means, you should ask the first college-bred man you meet,
and I am sure he will explain it better than I can.
I shall not tell you the names of those little boys. You
can call them any names you like.
One day their mother had a very bad headache, so she lay
down on the sofa, and said-
"Now, chicks, do try to be very quiet for a wee while, so
that I may rest this poor head."
46 Snow Dreams.
But the thoughtless children forgot to be still in a moment,
and were soon making as much noise as ever. "Oh dear,"
said their mother, "you do love your noise much more than
you love me."
"Poor Mammy we are so sorry," they shouted loudly, and
directly knocked over her pet gipsy table. So then their
mother told them to go and sit on the mat outside the door
for exactly ten minutes.
It was a nice soft mat, and the room was near the top of a
stair, so the little boys snuggled together against the closed
They whispered stories to each other, and kicked up their
heels, and laughed aloud, and did not mind a bit.
You must know that what I am telling you about hap-
pened on a wintry afternoon, and the light faded rather
quickly, as it usually does on winter afternoons.
As the noisy mindless boys rolled about on the mat, they
heard a great tramp! tramp! tramp! on the stair, and who
should march up but a great BIG GIANT, carrying a great
big sack on his shoulder.
Sniff, sniff, snort, snort, went the Giant. Then he said in
a loud voice, "I smell bad boys! I smell bad boys !" and at
that moment he stumbled against the little ones sitting on
the mat, as quiet as mice when the cat comes, by.
"Oh, here they are! Fine fat fellows!" and the Giant
picked them up and popped them into his sack.
Down they flopped into the great big sack, and as they
The Giant's Pie. 47
fell they came against something soft and warm, which
moved. What should that be but more bad boys!
Oh, how frightened they all were! and of course they
cried very much when they felt the Giant go tramp, tramp,
tramp down the stair and over the hill, leaving great deep
holes in the snow where his great feet had stepped.
Soon the Giant came to his own house, and there by the
kitchen fire sat the Guy-kcrl (Giant's wife).
"Here, wife," he said in his loud voice; "here are some
fine juicy boys, highly flavoured with naughtiness. Let's
have a naughty boy-pie for supper."
"Yes, Giant," said the Guy-kerl, like a dutiful wife; and
then she brought out her kneading-board, flour, lard, rolling-
pin, pepper, and salt.
When she had made a huge crust, she brought a tremen-
Then she opened the Giant's sack, and, taking out all the
boys one by one, she laid them in the dish in layers, like
herrings in a barrel, and she sprinkled pepper and salt plenti-
fully among them before putting the crust, with a tappatooree,
on the top.
While this was going on, the boys were not very com-
One coughed, another sneezed, a third kicked, and a fourth
cried, and the crust did not lie very still; so I suppose the
boys had a not pleasant time of it lying in layers in the
Guy-kerl's big dish, waiting till the oven was hot.
48 Snow Dreams.
In the meantime the mother had waked up from her short
nap, with her headache gone; so she called out, "You may
come in now, monkeys."
There was no answer. "You may get up from the mat,
noisy chicks." Still no answer; so she got up and opened
the door, but-there were no boys on the mat!
The mother went to her nursery, hoping to find them
there. "Are the boys not with you, Sarah?"
"No, ma'am. I thought they were with you."
"What has become of them," said the mother, beginning to
Just then Sarah remembered hearing the Giant come up
"Oh dear," she cried, "were they naughty ? Because, if so,
I know the Giant who comes after bad boys was on the stair,
and he will have taken them away."
"That will be it," said the mother, beginning to cry, and
running out to follow the Giant.
She easily found her way up the hill to the Giant's house,
for his big footprints were still in the snow.
When she got to the house, she walked straight into the
kitchen, and there sat the Giant and the Guy-kerl, while on
the table stood the big pie dish with the crust, moving like
a curtain does when children are playing bo-peep behind it.
The mother guessed all about it at once, so she said quickly,
"Have you seen the wonderful sight there is in the valley ?"
"No," said the Giant and his wife. "What is it ?"
The Giant's Pze. 49
"Oh, you should go and look. It is the marriage of Snow
and the North Wind. Jack Frost is the priest, Miss Snow
Crystal is bridesmaid, and Mr Icicle is groomsman.
"They are to have the moon for a wedding-cake, and all
the points of the compass are to play the wedding march.
You should see it."
The Giant and the Guy-Kerl ran to the door directly; and
as soon as they were gone out of the kitchen, the mother
picked up the big dish and ran out by the back door.
Down the hill she sped.
But the Giant and his wife could see nothing in the valley
more remarkable than a snow-storm; so they came back to
their warm kitchen, and at once they discovered what the
mother had done.
"Oh, my pie! my splendid naughty-boy pie!" roared the
Giant; and he set off in pursuit at once.
Down the hill he strode, making such a thundering noise
that the earth shook, and the mother knew what it meant.
She put the dish down in the snow, and lifting up the
crust, she called out, "The Giant is coming! get out, boys!
run for your lives! scuttle away!"
You may be sure they waited for no second bidding, but
ran off in every direction, and got safe to their homes.
As soon as the dish was emptied the mother packed it full
of snow, popped the crust on again, and ran off.
Presently the Giant came blundering along, and nearly
fell into his own pie-dish.
50 Snow Dreams.
"Oh, here it is, my precious pie!" and he took up the
dish and carried it home.
Here is the beautiful pie, wife; put it in the oven."
The Guy-Kerl did so, and they sat and nodded by the
fire till the pie was quite cooked (as they supposed).
"Bring knives and things, wife," growled the Giant.
So she set the supper table very neatly; and then she
took the pie from the oven and put it on the table in front
of the Giant, who glared at it with savage delight.
The crust smelt nice, but had fallen rather flat; and the
"I am afraid the boys must have been rather too juicy
-perhaps been crying more than usual-for I see there is
rather a superabundance of clear gravy."
Not a word said the Giant, but flourishing his big carving-
knife and fork, he cut a huge slice out of the crust, and laid
bare the contents of the dish.
"What's wrong?" exclaimed the Guy-Kerl, for first he
turned red, then purple, then green, then black. "What's
wrong ?" she shrieked.
"And the Giant uttered solemnly, "Water! water! No
"It's all nonsense, Mammy," said Horace, glancing fearfully
towards the door.
"I'll never be naughty," sighed Charlie.
"It couldn't be true," whispered Tom.
Baby or Dolly. 51
"It's a jolly story," exclaimed Stephen.
Then they all cried out-
It's only one of Mammy's Snow Dreams."
So she laughed, and sent them off to plague some one
BABY OR DOLLY.
I THINK it's as pretty as Dolly,
Though Dolly's a beauty, too;
And it has not Dolly's lovely curls,
And its eyes are not so blue.
It's not so quiet as Dolly,
Excepting when it's asleep;
But Dolly will never walk or talk,
And Baby will crow and creep.
Shall I love it as much as Dolly?
Well, dear old Dolly, you see,
Will not grow up as I grow up,
And be always some one to me.
You don't hear Dolly crying
Whenever she's washed and drest;
But somehow-I think-upon the whole
I shall love the Baby the best.
ANNIE'S BIR THDA Y.
TWO YEARS OLD.
JUST two years ago
Came a tiny, nestling bright.
Little rosy cheeks it had,
Little eyes as dark as night.
Little Annie, Mamma's Birdie,
Little Annie, Papa's Birdie,
Little Annie, heart's delight.
Annie could not move a finger,
For she was so frail and small,
Just like pussy's new-come kittens,
Round and fat like butterball;
Such a funny dot was Annie,
Could not speak a word at all.
But Mamma loved little Annie,
And she nursed her on her breast,
Singing sweetest music to her,
Watching fondly o'er her rest;
Annie slept on that dear cradle
Like a birdie in its nest.
Annie's Birthday. 53
Then another summer came,
And the wee one "flapped its wings,"
Shouting, standing all alone;
Nursie said, Our Birdie sings."
Little Annie, Mamma's Birdie,
Little Annie, Papa's Birdie,
Little Pet, what joy she brings.
Here it is wee Annie's birthday
Come again another time;
Kiss her, hug her, dance her, jump her,
Sing her every nonsense rhyme;
Birdie bright, whose pattering footfalls
Sound more sweet than fairy chime.
Annie's birthday. Dearest Annie,
May each day bring something new,
Something that will make our Annie
Better, brighter, bonnier too.
Mamma's tiny trotty Annie,
Papa's little love-bird Annie,
Everybody's darling too.
^ t' ^ ,Y
T CAN'T think what has come to the child," some one
Said; "he won't go to bed without his hammer.
He takes it with him to church. It lies beside his plate
"He carries that hammer wherever he goes,
Dropping it now upon somebody's toes,
Chopping at fingers, and chipping at doors,
Pounding the tables, and denting the floors,
Banging on boxes, and thumping on chairs;
'Tee's hamma is noosful,' the urchin declares.
So he drives in a nail wherever he can,
And thinks himself-quite a strong carpenter's man."
Tee was never happy if parted from his hammer; but he
did make such a bad use of it that one night after he had
fallen asleep, with his cheek pressed lovingly to his beloved
hammer, some one came and drew the hammer softly away!
When Tee awoke next morning, his hammer was gone !
Oh! what a hubbub there was. But the hammer did not
Tee's Hammer. 55
appear again. It was shut up in a drawer, and all that day
Tee was most unhappy.
He sobbed himself to sleep next night, and then he had a
very curious dream.
He thought that a queer little voice spoke from the top
drawer of Mammy's bureau, and this was what the queer
little voice said-
"A boy with a sunshiny, laughing face
Never should fall into any disgrace;
A boy with a merry, blue, honest eye
Never should know how to sob or cry;
A boy with a gentle and gladsome voice
Never should make any angry noise;
A boy with a pair of round, sturdy legs
Should always be using such handy pegs;'
A boy who has fingers both willing and strong
Should never be meddling, or doing what's wrong;
And SOME ONE they call the bright sunbeam of joy
Should all his life long be a very good boy."
"That's me, of course," said Tee; "and that is all true, and
I don't ever mean to use my face, or eyes, or voice, or legs,
or fingers, or anything for wrong purposes; so there!"
"Who is it that makes a bad use of his hammer ?" asked
the queer little voice.
"Oh, I see what you mean. I am sure I will never use it
for a naughty purpose again. I always thought it was the
56 Snow Dreams.
hammer's fault when anything got damaged by my knocks,
but I know now that it was my own fault. My dear darling
hammer was always good. Oh, if I could but find it!
Queer little voice, can you tell me where my hammer has
"Perhaps it went away until you learned how to use
"Well, I have learned now. But who are you that talks
so nicely to me ?"
"I am Tee's hammer."
And then Tee woke up to find his hammer lying on
LIFE IN DEA TH.
CHRISTMAS comes with snowy mantle,
Winter winds and daytime drear;
For the heart of gentle Nature
Mourns beside an ivied bier,
Whereon lies, in solemn sadness,
One we call the dying year.
Hark! upon the mournful silence
Breaks the Song of heaven and earth;
And there thrills through all creation
Memories of our Saviour's birth;
While the New Year, dawning brightly,
Chants a strain of hope and mirth.
- /- .-.
TH WITCH-CAT age
T W H Ta5
THE WITCH-CA T.
T is a tragic and a terrible story, still it was so very
queerious (as a little boy said) that perhaps you will
be amused by it; and then it has a moral which is easily
seen-and I can't say as much for the rest of our stories.
So I think, children, dear, it will do you good to hear the
history of my black cat Tiny.
Well, you see, this was how it all began.
"C C." said to me one day that she would like me to have
a kitten to play with, now that all my "babies had grown
into boys;" and I did not like to tell the little lady that I
hate cats, because, you must know, she would have looked
at me in her odd, wise way, and her brown eyes would have
had a sorry, asking look that I am always afraid to meet;
so I said, honestly enough, that I would like very much to
accept her offer of Topsy's kitten (Topsy was C C.'s cat).
And one day shortly afterwards C. C alighted on my knee,
like a bright bird of passage on the branch of a dry old tree,
and produced from the wee basket on her arm a wee ball of
58 Snow Dreams.
It had a little curled tag at one end, and two greeny-
yellow fire-lights at the other, with two tufts of wool above
them. There were four tags at the sides, with white ends
to them-and that was Tiny!
C. C. named this queerious thing "Tiny," and it seemed a
nice name, and she never got any other, even when she had
grown into something very much the reverse of Tiny.
From the first moment of our acquaintance Tiny attached
herself to me, and also from the first moment I seemed to
know that she was no ordinary kitten. There was something
elfish in her look, something uncanny in her ways. She
never played like other young creatures do; but whenever
the wind began to blow hard, Miss Tiny would jump up and
go flying over the sofa, up the curtains, into dark corners,
across my head and shoulders, like a being gone mad; and
all the time she looked as serious as if she were performing
some grave business, while I was going into fits of laughter
at her funny antics.
Tiny's education began at an early stage of our acquaint-
ance, because I had a beautiful canary, and I loved it greatly
-and so did Tiny. But Tiny's love was not like mine, for
I fed the canary, but Tiny wished to feed upon it; so I had
frequently to exhort her on the subject.
She could not, or would not, understand English, and I
have never studied caterwauling, so I was obliged to tell her
my mind by means of an instrument which the boys call
"Mammy's black fingers."
The Witch-Cat. 59
Here is the picture of it:
This mode of instruction, however, offended the Witch-Cat
very much; and she became exceedingly jealous of Chippy,
and never missed an opportunity of springing at his cage in
the most unlady-like manner.
When the summer holidays came we took Tiny with us
to the sea-side, and as Chippy was left in charge of a friend,
I thought there would be no more quarrelling. But, to my
dismay, no sooner was Tiny taken out of her basket than she
ejected the lawful cats of the house, and took possession of
the apartments in a most imperious manner.
Now though her witchy character had begun to be acknow-
ledged by all who met her, such a setting at defiance of all
laws amongst cats or people was not to be tolerated, so war
was waged with Miss Tiny whenever she attempted to molest
the felines of the establishment.
But I am bound to confess that we all got the worst of it
in such encounters-unless I except the broom handle, which
gave as good as it got, and seldom failed to drive the Witch-
Cat from her retreat, wherever that might chance to be.
Tiny did not enjoy the holidays, and seemed really glad
when she found herself once more at home.
Her sea-side experience might have taught her what
misery results from indulging a quarrelsome nature, but
60 Snow Dreams.
alas! only the most disastrous experiences will teach that
No sooner was Chippy's cage back in its place, than up the
nearest curtain, like a very spirit of evil, darted Tiny, and though
I was almost as quick as she, I scarcely reached the window in
time to rescue my golden pet from the claws of my black one.
"This will never do, you imp of darkness," said I to Tiny.
So I provided myself with a more formidable weapon than
the tawss," and I put Tiny into a netted bag which I hung
up beside the cage, and then I proceeded to punish her,
feeling very sorry for her all the time. Whenever she even
looked at Chippy, down came the rope on her devoted head.
After this severe but necessary treatment Tiny never went
near the cage, but would sit on my skirt and gaze at the
pretty bird, evidently brooding over her wrongs and meditat-
I never doubt that she bewitched poor Chippy, for one day
during a thunderstorm she began to perform the most extra-
ordinary manceuvres I ever witnessed.
Round and round the room she darted, never approaching
the cage, but continually looking at it-springing and jump-
ing as if she had wings, and glaring at Chippy with all her
might. I almost fancied I saw sparks fly out of the hairs
on her back, and would not have been astonished had she
suddenly gone off in spontaneous combustion (the short for
that, dears, is to burn up to nothing).
All at once Chippy dropped from his perch, quite dead.
The Witck-Cat. 6r
Some people say the thunderstorm killed him, but I believe
it was the Witch-Cat.
If you could have seen the looks of sly satisfaction which
she cast at me while I mourned over my dear bird; but when
I proceeded to bury it in a cocoa-nut shell, and to suspend
the shell in poor Chippy's empty cage, Tiny's wrath could no
longer be concealed, and springing up she actually and
deliberately scratched me !
She had never done so before, and she never did it again;
and I made great allowance for her, feeling that I would have
liked to do the same if I had had a friend who seemed to care
more for some one else than for me. I am sure I would
have bewitched the some one and scratched the friend.
But I would have been sorry afterwards, and Tiny was
not sorry one bit.
You would have thought that when Chippy was out of the
way she would have tried to be good.
Alas, no! and when we are disposed to be cross, plenty of
causes can be found to provoke the crossness; and so it was
with Miss Tiny.
Whenever a lady came in carrying a muff, or wearing fur
of any kind, the Witch-Cat was sure to dart upon it and
begin worrying it.
A friend, who is partial both to cats and witches, said that
Tiny was really recognizing the garments of her tribe; but-
I fear-I fear-
If it had been only fur that she attacked I might have
62 Snow Dreams.
believed that statement, but I never dared leave any kind of
lace or muslin where Tiny could find it, for it was certain to
be chewed to bits at once; and as for my balls of wool, their
fate is too sad to tell.
Once my brother, who is a passionate lover of cats, was
visiting us, and as soon as Tiny spied him she jumped on to
his knee and began clawing unmercifully.
Then she got on to the back of his chair, and attacked his
whiskers with a sort of savage joy.
At this stage the gentleman exclaimed, Upon my word,
this cat is no' canny;" whereupon Tiny whisked out of the
room in a sulky fit.
Whether she had been brooding over her fancied wrongs
until a dark scheme of desertion took'shape in her mind, or
whether she had a broomstick appointment to keep with the
other witches, I cannot tell, for unfortunately she never gave
me much of her confidence, though I was first in her love.
But one dark wild winter night Tiny stole down the long
stair, and out into the tempest-swept streets, and was seen no
more for some weeks.
At the end of that time there was brought to me a starv-
ing, emaciated, subdued, skeleton of a cat, with just life
enough in it to cry "mew" very piteously, and this creature
was supposed to be my lost Tiny.
At the first glance I said, "This cannot be Tiny," but on
hearing that name the poor animal crept up and claimed me,
so I claimed her.
The lWitch-Cat. 63
I washed her and fed her, and was very glad to have her
back, and I soon found that her temper was entirely changed
from what it had been; so much so that grave doubts con-
tinued to assail me regarding her identity.
A goldfinch was reigning in Chippy's stead, but the reformed
cat never looked near it, and by degrees we became impressed
with the fact that if we had got back Tiny's body, we cer-
tainly had not got back her spirit.
Some one who knows all about witches told me that pro-
bably the witch who had occupied Miss Tiny had gone off
upon some adventure which did not require a cat's body, and
therefore I might be allowed to keep the original cat, who
was evidently a creature of very mild temper and inferior
To tell the truth, I liked Tiny's uncanny ways and eerie
looks, and would rather have had her with the witch inside
than as she was, with no more spirit than a chicken-a soft,
purring, stupid animal, that could not, and would not, touch a
mouse; whereas Tiny of old never allowed even the shadow
of a mouse's tail to be seen in the house.
The sole peculiarity in which the cat now indulged was a
passion for lily of the valley, and whenever I opened the
windows she would creep out and chew the young plants that
were coming up in boxes.
I punished her for this once, which frightened her so much
that I guessed she had known what "hard lines" mean while
away from us.
64 Snow Dreams.
One evening I had opened the windows before leaving the
room, but forgot to remove Tiny, and, coming abruptly back
for that purpose, startled her in the very act of biting the
My exclamation terrified her, bringing memories of chas-
tisement, and, forgetting her whereabouts, she bounded from
the window-ledge, but went the wrong way-namely, out,
instead of in.
I heard a thud, but no cry, and looking down saw the cat
make off into a carpenter's shed. She had fallen down from
a great height, but, cat-like, had come down all right.
I sent off a trusty messenger to find and claim the truant,
but she had disappeared, and though I made many inquiries
I never heard more of her, and she never came back.
I console myself with the universal belief of all who knew
Tiny in her early days, that the Tiny which went out of the
window was not the Tiny which came out of C C.'s basket;
and I think sometimes that my Witch-Cat will return to me
a sadder and a wiser Tiny.
OUT IN THE SNOW.
OUT IN THE SNO W.
THE white, white snow,
It lies in the street,
Crisp and pleasant
Under the feet.
All on the housetops,
All on the ground,
It came and settled
With never a sound.
Oh," say the children,
The nice white snow,"
Children who have
Warm homes, you know;
And Oh, it is pleasant
Out in the street,"
Say the children
With well-shod feet.
66 Snow Dreams.
But the children
Who have no home
Say, It is cold
Now the snow is come."
The white, white snow
Looks dreary and sad
When little children
Are poorly clad.
Oh, children, dear,
Who have cozy beds
And cozy house-roofs
Over your heads,
And thick warm clothing,
And well-shod feet,
It is bitter for some
In the cold, cold street.
--. i -5
CHILDREN, I wish you knew Tommy Kitten; you
would all love him, I am sure.
He is a round, plump, soft boy, with no corners anywhere
about him, and his character is just like his body, for it is
round, and plump, and soft, without corners, too.
He has never given any one a bit of trouble all his life.
He was the first bright thing that came into the house,
after a time of great darkness, and people wondered if the
new baby would learn the trick of sadness that had become
the habit of the household.
He had pretty dark eyes, and a wistful look that was almost
painfully sweet, when he was a baby; and Aunties shook their
heads, and said, "Ah! he has caught the sadness too."
But Aunties were mistaken (as even Aunties can be some-
times), for though Tommy Kitten was the very quietest of
babies, he was not the saddest. Though he did not laugh
much, he never cried.
His usual mode of expression was a low rippling sound,
something between a turtle dove's coo and a kitten's purr.
He never made a fuss about his teething, as so many
68 Snow Dreams.
cornered babies do; and no one knows how, or when, he
learned to walk, and talk, and read.
These things seemed to come to him as leaves come upon a
His face and hands never want so much washing as other
boys' hands and faces.
His hair.is always smooth, and so is his temper.
His jacket is always clean, and so is his conscience.
Tommy Kitten is the middle boy of five, and he is the one
most loved by the others. Why is that, do you think? It is
because he is the Peacemaker. The loving pupil of the eldest,
the faithful friend of the next, the kind companion of the third,
the protector and guide of the youngest. There is another
reason why he is the favourite brother. He is the inventor of
all the games, and the patient ingenious manufacturer of the
toys. He begs for a few pins, corks, and feathers; and from
these he makes SUCH horses! Here is the picture he made of
one of his own steeds, also the work of his busy fingers-
Tommy Kitten knows how to utilise very simple materials,
thereby setting an example to many older and wiser folk.
He collects the empty matchboxes and old corks; and, with
the help of a few pins, he converts those otherwise useless
articles into toy railway trucks Perhaps some of you would
like to have such pretty inexpensive trucks, so I will tell you
Tommy Kitten. 69
how Tommy Kitten makes them. He cuts a cork into four
slices, passes a pin through each slice, then through the cor-
ners of the matchbox, bending the point when through, so
that it shall not return the way it came. Then he crooks a
pin into each end of the box, like a little fish-hook; and last
of all paints the whole according to his fancy; and then
the trucks are ready to be linked together and sent off for
luggage waiting at the next station !
There is another sort of toy which Tommy Kitten makes
very beautifully, but then it requires a little of the sculptor's
genius and skill to mould them, and as all little boys are not
so gifted perhaps you could not succeed in that kind of work
so well as with the trucks. Still you might TRY, and who
knows how well you might succeed.
We never know what power we possess until we have
Well! Tommy Kitten gets a bit of soft bread-crumb, and
he kneads it, and rolls it, and presses and pinches it until it
becomes like putty. Then he moulds it into animals, birds,
and all sorts of things. They are really very life-like, and
give great pleasure to the sculptor and his friends.
He is also very clever at making animals, trees, people, and
furniture out of paper, but I can't tell you how he does it,
for I see a bit of ragged newspaper twisting among the
taper wee fingers, and by-and-by a rocking chair, or an
elephant, or a baby, is lying in Tommy Kitten's hands as if
it had come thereby magic.
70 Snow Dreams.
But, you know, this inventive gift of his would not make
him popular among his brothers, if he employed it merely
to gratify himself.
It is because he is so unselfish; he gives the things he
makes to others, and thus wins their hearts.
Often he will keep the younger boys amused for hours
with his games and toys, when he would have preferred play-
ing in a quiet corner by himself.
That is how I think one puts one's talents to the best
purpose, and it brings rich reward in the love of many
friends, and the approval of the Heavenly Father.
Tommy Kitten is always to be trusted, and he is always
the little gentleman.
But I must admit that he has one sad failing, which gets
the better of him at rare times; but he is fighting it down,
and will conquer it, I hope, soon, and then WifAT A BOY he
will be! Tommy Kitten is a shy, timid boy, rather, and he
used to be very much afraid of being alone in the dark.
Often he woke up in the night expecting the most impossible
things to happen because the darkness had come.
He would fancy that a bear was under the bed-as if
bears went about Scotland like bairns, making fools of
themselves, and getting into the most uncomfortable places
in the world.
He would imagine that a giant was coming down the
chimney-as if giants would not much prefer walking in at
the hall door.
Tommy Kitten. 71
In short, Tommy Kitten rather lost his wits when night
At last his fear overcame his shyness, and he asked his
mother if she thought Jesus would keep him from being
frightened in the dark, if he asked Him very earnestly to
Of course his mother knew that Jesus would do so if
Tommy Kitten had faith to believe, and she told her little
boy so. There was no disturbance heard in the nursery that
night, and next morning Tommy Kitten's confident bright
smile told what had happened.
He had waked in fear, and he had asked in faith, and the
weakness had been removed, for Jesus had indeed stood by
His timid, fearful lamb, and given it courage to overcome;
and Tommy Kitten has never been afraid in the dark since
then. But the prayer of faith did more than cure him of
It taught him how near the Saviour is to those who seek
Him "in faith believing," and how sweet it is to turn to Him
for help always, and to rest on Him and be comforted by
Children! I wish you would all try what going to Jesus
about everything is like. You would soon prove how much
better it is to be living in close communion with the dear
Christ, than in trusting to yourself or to earthly friends.
Now, I will tell you a little secret about Tommy Kitten;
but you must not let him know that you know. This is it.
72 Snow Dreams.
Hush say it in a wee whisper, for he might hear if we speak
loud. He is very fond of dolls! Oh! the softie," say the
boys who scorn such feminine toys. No, boys, you are wrong
there: Tommy Kitten is not a "softie" (as you will own
when you hear the next thing about him), but he is what all
really brave noble-minded men and boys are, he is tender-
hearted; and he has no sisters on earth, or girl friends, so
he expends the love that would have been theirs upon the
Once a big boy in Tommy Kitten's school did a mean
wicked deed, and when the master questioned the others,
some who knew the truth denied it rather than get into the
bad graces of the big boy and his friends.
But some of the boys, and among them Tommy Kitten,
felt how wicked it was to screen the wrong-doer by telling a
lie, so they told the truth boldly, and Tommy Kitten's gentle
heart was made miserable for a long time afterwards by the
bullying which he got from the big boy, who lost no opportunity
of revenging himself upon those who had the moral courage
to speak the truth, fearless of consequences. Now was that
the action of a "softie ?"
I am not going to tell you how Tommy Kitten came by
his queer name, for-I don't know!
It certainly is not the name he got at his baptism. But it
has turned out a very appropriate name, for he has a great
many kittenish ways about him.
He plays odd innocent tricks in a silent way that is very
Tommy Kitten. 73
droll; and he has a great deal of quiet pussy fun about him
which makes us laugh very much.
When he was a tiny child of two years old, he was going to
be taken a long way over the sea. He saw preparations for
the voyage going on, and plenty of talk about it too; but
somehow he did not at all understand about the journey
being performed in a ship.
In fact he had never seen a ship, and likely did not know
what it was, so he said, "Tommy Titten can not go 'cause he
'ood 'poil his boots in the sea."
This amused his brothers so much that they often tell the
story, and whenever any sea-going has to be done, Tommy
Kitten is asked if he thinks his boots will stand it!
I could tell you a great many good things that this good boy
has done, but it would take up too much time, and I only
want to tell you such things as may be of use to you.
Tommy Kitten knows that it is more blessed to give than to
receive, and once he saved up all his pocket money until he
could buy a bird as a birthday present for his mother, to con-
sole her for the loss of a dear loving goldfinch which had
performed capital punishment upon itself.
Oh! if you could have seen the boy's glad face and his
mother's surprise and pleasure. She treasures that bird as
she treasures few things besides, for she knows how much
the unselfish child denied himself to give it to her.
When Tommy Kitten was seven years old, he had to go to
a school to live. To be sure it was in the same town, and he
74 Snow Dreams.
was to go home every Saturday; still it was going from home,
which is always a serious matter to men of that age.
I do not feel that I can dwell upon this trial, the sobs and
tears which even a man's" suit, instead of the little sailor's
costume hitherto worn, could not banish. Mother and home
were more than trousers and long jacket! Ah! poor Tommy
Kitten! It was his first trial, his first encounter with the
stern realities of life, and it was very hard.
For many weeks the going back, after Saturday and Sunday
spent at home, was a trial which cost him many tears; until
he was told that he was making the grief of parting much
heavier for his mother.
At once he gathered all his fortitude and manhood to his
aid, and stumped off each Monday morning without a tear, or
sign of suffering, although there was a big lump in his throat,
and a sore ache in his loving heart.
He has never disliked school-life, but is always happy at
the pleasant home-like Institution, where the best of care is
bestowed upon him; but he feels the home-parting quite as
much as at first, only he does not let it interfere with his
He goes off weekly like a little hero nobly bearing his cross,
as we pray God he may bear all the crosses of life until he
exchanges them for the victor's crown.
Our good, good boy! A blessing rests upon his placid brow;
and we trust his example may help other little boys to live
the life which is well-pleasing in their Maker's sight, so that
Tommy Kitten. 75
it may be said of them, as it was said of the Holy Child who
came to earth in infancy to be an example to children of all
ages, He grew in favour both with God and man."
Some little boys wish me to add here, that this story of
Tommy Kitten was written years ago.
They want me to say that he is a big boy now, that he crosses
the sea without any of his friends with him, and laughs about
"spoiling his boots." That he has dropped his child name,
and is now "Tom." That he has not a bit of "softness "
about him, and has converted his fancy for dolls into an
affection for girl-cousins.
But Tom who was Tommy Kitten is still the good boy,
NEW YEAR BLOSSOMS.
ON the heart of sleeping Nature
Lies the aged dying year,
While the Christmas heralds scatter
Snowy plumes upon his bier;
And the days are darkly drear.
Yet on every leafless branchlet
Hangs a blossom from the skies;
In each flake a face of beauty
Like a baby's image lies-
They are Angels in disguise!
They have come, we tell the children,
To proclaim a young New Year,
And to sing the Christmas carol
That our saddened spirits cheer
When the days are darkly drear.
In the weary time of winter
They come floating from the skies
To alight on leafless branches;
And the children's artless eyes
Know them Angels in disguise.
JOHNNIE FROST AND WEE CHARLIE.
ONE day when the flowers were all gone, and the trees
had no leaves upon them, and Auntie liked to get as
close to the fire as possible, wee Charlie went to the window
and looked out. Then he saw a boy with a very funny face,
dressed in a curly coat and curly knickbockers, and with very
curly hair; and he kept dancing about as if he could not
stand still upon any account. Well! this boy was singing to
himself, and wee Charlie put his ear close to the window to
hear what he was saying. This is what he said-
"I run o'er the hills in a single night,
And I make them all so white, so white;
I kiss little children with my two lips,
And their poor noses get such blue tips;
And over the windows, all crost and crost,
I write my name, which is Johnnie Frost."
Now wee Charlie was so pleased at the curly boy's song
that he put his ear close to the window, and as soon as
Johnnie saw that, he changed his tune and sang-
78 Snow Dreams.
Oh, it is a nice, fine day,
Fine as any day can be;
But I have not long to stay,-
Won't you come and play with me?"
Of course wee Charlie wished to do so at once, but thought
to himself he had better ask leave first, and while he was asking
Mamma, the North Wind came tumbling down the chimney,
whistling and roaring, talking and singing all at once, so that
one could scarcely understand a word that he said. But they
listened carefully, and at last they heard-
"Good Mamma, good Mamma,
Think of what I tell;
If Charlie wee goes out to play
With Master Johnnie Frost to-day,
Do wrap his nose up well."
Then Mamma laughed so that Mr North Wind was quite
affronted, and went up the chimney as oddly as he came
down. But wee Charlie was not afraid about his nose, so he
went out to look for Johnnie Frost, and called out--
Crispy, curly Johnnie Frost,
Here I've come to play;
Do let me catch a hold of you
Before you run away."
Then Johnnie laughed and pinched wee Charlie's cheeks
gently so that they grew very rosy, and wee Charlie played
yohnnie Frost and Wee Charlie. 79
with Johnnie for a long time, and when he went in-doors, and
Johnnie had gone away to Greenland, Auntie made pictures
of the curly boy, and Auntie made rhymes about them, too-
queer rhymes and queer stories about a queer person, but
they amused some queer bairns.
This is Johnnie Frost.
"This is just thheway he passes
Over all the crackly grasses.
80 Snow Dreams.
"This is how he breaks the glasses;
Naughty Johnnie Frost !
Look at Johnnie Frost !
O'er our windows he is creeping,
Into every pane he's peeping;
Funny Johnnie Frost."
THE TOUCHING STORY OF THE
HUNGR Y SCORE.
T HIS is the story
Of little grey Scorie *-
The Scorie cried,
And away he hied
Over the sea.
His wings so long,
So broad and so strong,
Wide opened he;
And twick he gave
A dip in the wave,
Saying, Plee, plee!"
The sun was so bright
And the water so light
It was pretty to see;
But the Scorie that day
Was too busy to play,
Saying, Plee, plee !"
Scorie, a young sea-gull.
82 Snow Dreams.
"My father, my mother,
My sister, my brother,
They flit o'er the sea;
Be it calm, be it rough,
They catch fishes enough
For breakfast and tea.
"My father, my mother,
My sister, my brother,
They are eating so fast
That surely at last
There'll be nothing for me."
And the whole long day
Did the Scorie say
"Ah! how I wish
I could find a fish;
Then his father, his mother,
His sister, his brother,
They rose from the sea,
And they all said, Come,
We are flying home."
"Not I," said he.
The Touchingz Story of the Hungry Scorie. 8
And, poor little bird,
He never stirred
From over the sea,
Saying, Ah! how I wish
I could find a fish;
Then the sky grew dull,
And a great black gull
Said, "Night is near;
So if you wish
To find a fish
Make haste, my dear."
So Scorie grew wise
And sharpened his eyes
And looked in the sea;
And all in a row,
Swimming not very low,
Saw fishes three.
Down darted he,
Right down in the sea
So smooth and so still;
Then off did he fly
With a gleam in his eye,
And a fish in his bill.
84 Snow Dreams.
"O father, 0 mother,
0 sister, 0 brother,
I'm happy," said he;
"For I have my wish,-
I have found a fish;
AN OLD MAN AND A WEE BOY.
ONCE a little boy was very cold, so he went to the fire to
warm himself. Silly fellow! he should not have
done that-that is not good for wee boys; but he did not
often think of what was good or bad for him. He went very
close to the grate, so the wise fire said-
Crackle crackle dearie me !
I am burning hot, you see,
Don't you come too close to me.
Little boys should run and play
On a bitter frosty day,
That will keep the cold away."
But the Wee Boy had been running about so much all the
morning, that he was tired, and he said to the fire-
O Pretty Flame, I am tired now,
So let me sit by you,
I like to see you dance about,
And look at what you do."
86 Snow Dreams.
Then the fire went crackle, crackle again, and called out
quite in a roaring fiery tone-
"Don't you call me Pretty Flame-
Burnie, Burnie is my name."
So the Wee Boy ran away, because Burnie, Burnie seemed
angry. Just then there was a noise at the door,-scratch,
scratch-scratch, scratch,-and some one outside shouted-
"Bow-wow, bow-wow, I have something to say,
Open the door, little master, I pray."
At that the Wee Boy ran across the room to open the
door, and in walked his own little dog Chum. Chum walked
in very quickly, pulling after him a very poor Old Man.
Doggie held the corner of the Old Man's long-tailed coat in
his mouth, but he dropped that as soon as he had got the
Old Man across the room, and then Chum said with quite a
"Oh, his cheeks are so pale and his clothes are so thin,
Pray, dear little master, do let him come in."
Then the Wee Boy said-
"Of course; come in, Old Man, come and sit in this cozy
And the poor Old Man sat down and spread out his hands/'
and warmed them, saying-
"Ah! that is nice."
An Old Man and a Wee Boy. 87
And the fire crackled quite cheerfully, for it was glad to
warm the poor Old Man.
By-and-bye the Wee Boy said (remembering what the fire
had told him)-
"Old man, you should run and jump and play,
That is the best on a frosty day."
But the Old Man answered-
"Ah little boy, I'm very old,
And cannot run and play like you,
And in my coat the wind so cold
Finds many a rent to whistle through."
Then the fire flapped its wings, and the little flames flew
up the chimney, singing-
Crackle, Crackle, that's my name
When the poor old men come near me,
Then I'm just a nice warm flame,
Crackle, Crackle is my name;
Crackle, Crackle-don't you hear me?
Burnie, Burnie is my name
When the little boys come nigh nie;
Though I look a pretty flame,
Burnie, Burnie is my name;
Burnie, Burnie-don't you try me."
88 Snow Dreams.
But Dog Chum had got tired by that time, so he pricked
up his ears very knowingly at some food on the table, and
then said to his little master-
"Oh that food looks so nice,
Give the old man some meat,
And a bone, if you please,
Can be my little treat."
At that the Wee Boy laughed very much, but he put all
his lunch on the Old Man's plate, and the Old Man thanked
him, and told him stories about the Snow and the North
Wind,-and perhaps he is still telling the Wee Boy those
strange wild stories, for I don't know what happened next;
only I am sure people in books always stay where they are!
-* < -- 6t'^/- A--A ? '
LITTLE MAID MARY'S ADVENTURE.
LITTLE MAID MAR Y'S ADVENTURE.
A DONKEY is not really an ass, and geese are very
As for the Laride, they are not at all gullable. But, I tell
you, boys are the most stupid animals (in some respects) of
any. Now, was it not very stupid of two young gentlemen
to allow one little lady to walk-oh-ever so far in the dark
I leave it,for any sensible child to decide whether those
boys were wiser than donkey, goose, or gull.
"But," says a bright large-eyed mannikin, who is loyal to
his fraternity, "why cannot a girl look after herself, as well
as a boy? and did not the boys know that the girl had a
guardian angel to keep her from harm?" Yes, Bright-eyes,
that is all true and sage, no doubt: but the facts remain, that
gentlemen are supposed to need looking after much less than
ladies; and that angels are invisible !
So this little Maid Mary went on in the dark ALONE-very
much afraid of what might happen, and much too proud to ask
her thoughtless escort to see her safe home. That's just the
90 Snow Dreams.
way men do-they go with you a part of the way, then
they remember something they have left undone behind;
or another path opens in another direction, and you are left
to go on in the dark alone.
You see little Maid Mary was in the same position that
most little Maid Maries are in often. The pride which
prevented her from asking aid came to her from the high-
born spirit of her chieftain sires; and the fear rose out of
the imagination which belongs to the Highland blood or
And little Maid Mary was walking, you will please re-
member, through wild Highland paths, with mysterious woods
not far off, and hills and moorland where anything might
I do not think that the little Maid had read about Una and
the Lion, or she would have known how youth and innocence
are kept from harm; but she was intimately acquainted
with Red-riding-Hood and the wolf; so went on without
There was sweet moonshine stealing out on the path in a
very enticing way, tempting her to linger and admire it; and
the trees and hillocks took curious shapes in the uncertain
light, desirous of making her turn to hide under a hedge, and
cry her life away.
But it was all in vain. The girlish heart fluttered with fear,
like a wild fledgling that some rude schoolboy has drawn
from its nest; yet the small feet stepped firmly along, and
Little Maid Mary's Adventure. 91
the proud young face looked straight on and up-never
Very soon there came the sound of voices, and the bird-like
heart, which had merely fluttered before, began to beat
against the bars of its cage as if it must fly or die.
Then worldly wisdom came to little Maid Mary's aid.
You have got a pretty locket kissing your neck, and when
the dreadful robbers who are coming seize hold of you, just
offer them that, and they will not hurt you: you know, the
dear brother who gave the ornament would rather you lost it
than that he lost you."
That was what worldly wisdom advised; but the guardian
angel, whose white wings were spread wide and low above
little Maid Mary's fair hair, whispered-
"Don't you remember, my pet, that God is over all, and
can keep you quite safe at any time and anywhere ?"
Then the beating fearful heart grew stiller, and the tiny
feet scarcely left their mark upon the miry way-so light is
the step of hope-and the pale pretty face had a sunshine
from within upon it which shamed the darkness.
Little Maid Mary never supposed that the voices could be-
long to a shepherd, or carter, or any other honest creature.
She was thinking of gypsies and banditti; and how much a
pair of dark enthusiastic eyes and a Spanish guitar had to do
with the little lady's fancies, I cannot guess; but perhaps you
"Oh! if they would but take the locket-my dear darling
92 Snow Dreams.
locket-and leave me!" she thought, as the voices came
Oh! what will mother do, and Bright-eyes, and all, if
little Maid Mary does not come home ?" she thought, as her
angel's pinions drooped closer.
Oh! what will become of me? and will my brothers have
to pay all their money to buy me back ?" she thought, as the
darkness grew more dark.
"Oh! if they knew at home that I am out alone, and those
dreadful men coming-coming-coming," she thought, as the
moonbeams went to bed behind a cloud.
"Don't you remember, my pet, that God is over all?"
repeated her guardian, once more bending so near that the
velvet touch of his white wings brushed the little maiden's
cheek. Then she took courage once more, and went boldly
forward to encounter the robbers, when suddenly, fear gave
place to joy; the dreadful unknown proved to be ministering
spirits which she knew well. She was met by friends from
home; and when she went to rest that night-
"My little Maid Mary, be not afraid,
For Heaven is around you," her angel said;
"And Heaven loves its little ones such as you,
Soft as the snow-flake, and pure as the dew.
Then fear not to tread on a dark, lone way,
With God over all, His Son for a stay;
The world that you know not is much the same
As that path in the darkness by which you came;