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SThe Baldwin Library
CHEEZP AJ7( CZA 2TTE.
Frontispiece. OUR LEADING CHARACTERS.
1. _,- Y
B^'-AUCE ^B^I^ Co
These little tales are written to warn you in a
pleasant and amusing way of the many follies that may
spoil your lives, or, at least, render them less happy and
useful. When you are old you will sadly see how many
joys you have thrown away for merest whims, tempers,
or stubbornness that might have been cured had you
been teachable, and the danger of indulging them had
been set before you in some impressive manner. If, like
"Mrs. Peepy," you will sacrifice comfort to "gentility"
-if, like "Mrs. Mus," you are spiteful and envious, or
weak and silly like "Miss Sylva "-if, like "Belle" and
"Beauty," you are affected and vain, or passionate like
"Dick," or teasing like Cocky "-you will see in these
stories, as in little convex mirrors, what loss or suffering
you may bring on yourselves and on others.
But that you will be led to avoid such faults and
follies, and seek rather for the pure-heartedness of
"Dove," the kindliness of" Bee," the tenderness of "Pip,"
the cheerful good-nature of "Mr. Robin," the candour of
"Mr. Mus," and the good common-sense of "Mr. Horse,"
is the sincere wish, dear children, of your loving friend,
THE HAUGHTY HARVEST MOUSE:
OR THE POWER OF LOVE,- 13
THE SELF-DECEIVED MAGPIE:
OR THE STORY OF A STOLEN BROOCH, 27
THE TENDER-HEARTED ANT:
OR HOW TO LIVE A HAPPY LIFE, 53
THE LOW-SPIRITED ROBIN:
OR How DISCONTENT WAS CURED, 65
THE PROUD AND DISOBEDIENT MAGGOT:
A STORY OF THREE LITTLE ORPHANS, 75
OR HOME LIFE IN A BEE HIVE, 83
THE PASSIONATE SPARROW:
A STORY OF SOWING AND REAPING, 93
THE THOUGHTFUL BUTTERFLY:
OR WHAT BEAUTY AND GRACE CAN DO, 105
THE KIND MONKEY-
OR THE POWER OF GENTLE THOUGHTS AND DEEDS, 111
THE SPITEFUL FIELD-MOUSE.
AND ALL THE MISCHIEF HER EVIL STORIES DID, 113
1 iF-T- ILLus-T ,'TIONs
Our Leading Characters, rontispiee.
Mr. Pip receives Visitors, itlepage.
Searching for Knowledge, v
Carrying off his Prize, vi
What the Mischievous Boy did, vii
What the Mischievous Boy got, vi
Finishing Touches, ix
Curiosity punished, xi
Mrs. Peepy in Full Dress, 13
'So low!' said Mrs. Peepy, 14
Mr. Creepy's Mishap, 19
'Are you all listening to Mama?'- 24
'Can ickle Mouses ike us do any good?' 25
A Vulgar-minded old Bird, 26
X LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
The Self-deceived Magpie, 27
Watching for the Spoil, 29
Mag taken down a bit, 31
'A noble Creature and a powerful Reasoner,' 33
Mag's greedy Eye and thievish Claw, 37
A Philosopher and a Thief, 40
Captured in the Queen's Name, 47
Imprisoned for Life, 51
Mag's cruel Uncle, 52
'An innocent amiable Snail,' 53
'Stuff! what do you know about Children?'- 55
A Nursery, 58
Work and Play, 64
Mrs. Robin in low Spirits, 65
Cheerful Mr. Robin and his Discontented Mate, 66
'There, go to sleep, old Lady!' 69
'With the air of an injured Bird,' 71
Two thankful little Hearts, 74
'A fearful crash quite stunned them,' 75
A motherly Advice to two little Orphans, 81
'They hasted to do their Queen homage,' 82
' Oh, Bee, I'm so glad to see you!' 83
The murdered Queen, 88
"A House of Mourning, 90
"A Disturber of the Peace, 93
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. xi
A Proud Father and Mother, 96
The Death of poor Pecky, 100
'You are going to begin new lives,' said Mama, -103
A Birdseye View of Mice (and Men), 104
'A lively Beetle just stepped on a Rose,' -105
'She spread her beautiful Wings,' 109
Handsome Belle and plain Mr. Brown Bee, 110
'He had a Whip, and was using it too,' 111
One of Mr. Pip's little Tricks, 112
Mr. Pip rides Sir Hugh's Mare, 116
Vanity-A Tailpiece, 118
Spiteful Mrs. Mus, 119
Miss Sylva cross-examined, 125
Mrs. Creepy visits the Sick, 129
A Full Confession and Frank Apology, 131
Mama's Apron-string, 133
By-and-by it met a friend.
By-andy it' mt a
"My dear Peepy, I am glad to see you,"
said she; I cannot find a nice snug place to
build y nest. Where have you made yours?"
".I have not made mine at all yet," said
Peepy; "indeed, I was just llgoing to decide onak-
ing the look plump, when aThe tiny mouse society here is so
looking among it for a place to build its nest.
By-and-by it met a friend.
"My dear Peepy, I am glad to see you,"
said she; "I cannot find a nice snug place to
build my nest. Where have you made yours?"
".I have not made mine at all yet," said
Peepy; "indeed, I was just going to decide on
another field. The mouse society here is so
mixed, I do not wish to bring up my children
14 THE HAUGHTY HARVEST MOUSE.
"Well, I don't know," said Creepy.; "I met
Brownie just now, she's going to settle in this
field, and I always thought her so well-bred.'
"Always builds her nest on the ground."
"Well, that is the fashion of her family, you
know; indeed, I think it's much safer."
I (1 x f i i,
"So low!" said Mrs. Peepy, sitting up with
her two little forelegs dangling languidly, and
looking down on Mrs. Creepy. I am seeking
for a nice tall thistle, or two strong straws of
wheat. I take great pains with my nest, and
I don't like it to be hidden. It is very neat
MRS. PEEPY ON MEN. 15
"Yes, so it is," said Creepy; "it is something
to be proud of. Quite as handsome as any-
thing those large creatures make who sow the
"Poor clumsy things," said Mrs. Peepy,
scornfully. Their absurd teeth are almost
useless. As far as I can see only a plague to
them from their very birth. I hear the mother
of the little ones that run in this field for ever
saying, 'It's about its teeth, that makes it so
cross.' Why, my nine babes don't give half
the worry that one great round little man
(I suppose he is) gives her just with his teeth,
and after all they don't seem of any use to him
when he's got them."
"Well," said Creepy, who was more humble,
"they may be; we do not know all their habits.
I think, perhaps, there may be some things we
do not quite understand."
"Not much to find out about them. They
are a dismal race of beings. All the talk of
those who spoil all this nice wheat by cutting
it down the moment it is fit for us to eat, is of
their woes and pains."
"Well," said Creepy, "I agree with you
there. Many's the time I've said in my heart,
16 THE HAUGHTY HARVEST MOUSE.
'Thank goodness I was born a mouse and not
a man.' At least I have time to enjoy every
minute of my life."
"I have my anxieties," said Peepy, "but I
am not so easily satisfied as you."
There was something rather nasty in Peepy's
tone as she said this, as much as to say, "I am
higher minded, more genteel."
But Creepy, who was the sweetest-tempered,
merriest mouse in the field, never suffered such
foolish speeches to wound her, for she was very
wise, and saw that no one is really so silly as
the folks who are always saying, "What I
think, what I do, my idea." She learned a
good deal from the talk of folk who came about
the fields in harvest time. The wise gentle wife
from the farm would come and knit with her
little ones round her, and chat to her good man
as he went about, and Creepy saw she was
firm and calm, yet she never talked fast and
much, nor said, "I do this, I do that;" but the
silly little women who were for ever in a hurry
and bustle, never quiet, would talk as if no
one else was so wise. "Well," thought Creepy,
"they make some people believe them, I see,
but in the end this nice calm wife gets more
HAPPY MRS. CREEPY. 17
joy. Her good man is glad to hear her, and I
see heeds her words though they are so few."
So all Peepy's high conduct never vexed or
ruffled Creepy. She went her merry little way,
and her dear little bright eyes shone with fun.
By and by her husband came up to her, "Well,
dear," said he, "have you settled on a spot for
"No, my love, I have been talking to Peepy.
She seems quite disgusted with the society of
"Oh, pray don't let her fill you with her
silly notions, Creepy; she'll soon take the fun
out of you. And you'll be turning your back
upon every friend we have."
"My dear," said Creepy, "do you suppose
I am likely to wish to give up all our pleasant
witty friends because a silly mouse calls them
low? Oh no! I see what comes of that among
the corn spoilers. Oh! you've no idea what I
learn from those unhappy creatures, and I am
so glad to see the nice wife at our farm has no
such silly thoughts. Here she comes; let us
peep at her."
So Creepy and her lord stood still, while a
lady tall and fair and calm came by, holding
18 THE HAUGHTY HARVEST MOUSE.
by the hand a little girl. The little girl began
to skip about, while the lady talked with, or
listened to, a prim little person who was with
"I so seldom go out," this little woman was
saying. There is no society one can mix with
in our town. Yes, I do feel very lonely."
Creepy and her husband laughed.
"I can not think," said she, "what any man
or mouse means by being lonely; why, there
always is some one by us to keep us from that,
if it is but one. Then that one has friends,
and if we help or love that one, such heaps
more mice one gets to know through him; and
why should it not be the same with men?"
"You know, dear, that is how we came to
know Brownie and his jolly family, through
your kindness to his old crosspatch uncle when
he hurt his hind-leg."
"Dear me, if one person is not nice, he is
sure to know some one who is. What a number
of charming friends we have that we met
through being affable with mice that many
would not notice!"
"I am exceedingly glad to hear you say so,
my dear," said her husband. "I was afraid
MR. CREEPY'S MISHAP. 19
when I saw you so busy talking to that fine
lady I should have you imitating her," and he
tilted his head, dangled his fore-paws affectedly,
himself look /
so much like
Peepy that 1, i .
Creepy gave / )
him a light I/
box on the ear.
sir!" said she
It was but
a touch, but /. '
it sent her
husband flat ,. ,-
on his back
legs in the air.
It is very painful to any person who has a
refined and sensitive mind and a kind and
feeling heart to find that they have knocked a
friend down when they only meant to give him
a playful tap; but' when it is any one we highly
20 THE HAUGHTY HARVEST MOUSE.
respect whom we have thus bowled over it is
most distressing. No wife likes to see her
husband flat on his back with his legs in the
air; but to a dutiful little wife like Creepy it
was doubly affecting to see him in such a
position, and she hastened to help him up.
My dear," said he, astonished, "why did
you do that?"
Poor Creepy was ready to cry in her surprise
and confusion, and her little red coat turned
redder with shame.
"My love," she said, "you cannot suppose
I meant to do it? But you really are so very
fat and round that a touch rolls you over.
Pray forgive me."
"I am certainly very stout," said he; "it
must be that. Pray don't distress yourself, my
love. I feel quite sure the accident was owing
to my being so fat."
"Still it was rude and awkward of me,
darling, and I will be more careful in fu-
So this amiable little pair comforted each
other, and such little misfortunes did but make
them love and admire each other more ten-
MRS. PEEPY'S FINE HOUSE. 21
Creepy was so very careful never to let her
husband be made fun of or to laugh at him in
the least. She would much rather have been
hurt than allow her husband's feelings to be
This kind thought for him touched his
generous little heart.
Well, Mrs. Peepy went into the next field,
and there, in the very midst of a thistle plant,
she built her nest. It was most perfect.
She split the straws and reeds of which she
made it so that it might be very close and neat,
and took such immense pains with it that it
might be better than any other mouse's, that
it was as round as a ball, and so close and firm
that she had to push her little nose and feet
between the plaits to get at her little ones, for
when she had put them there she could not get
inside herself. Seven sweet little mice, no
bigger than a filbert, did she put into this little
ball of a nest.
"There," said she, tossing her proud little
head, "no vulgar mice can get at them there."
But the little girl who used to play in the
field often, came running by one day and spied
22 THE HAUGHTY HARVEST MOUSE.
She jumped for joy when she found she could
get at it, and ran in with it to her brother.
They rolled it about all over the floor, and
poor Peepy's genteel little children went over
and over, head over heels. They were knocked
about in the world after all terribly.
Peepy was much too weak and helpless to
prevent the little girl getting her nest. It was
evening before the farmer and his wife came
home, and when the little girl showed them
her wonderful ball the farmer said:
"Why, pet, it is the nest of a harvest mouse,
and I fear all the tiny mice are dead by this
time, they have been so long without food."
Yes, the little mice were dead! lost through
their mother's pride, who would not be content
to build a lowly nest a few inches from the
ground among the thick wheat, as Creepy did,
who took care, too, not to build her house too
small, and to give up the shape of it for com-
fort. Creepy's babies had room enough, and
plenty of little friends, and besides she built
her home among others, so that if any one
came hunting for little mice they might have
some chance of escape.
"For, my pets," she said to her children,
MRS. CREEPY'S WISE WORDS. 23
"what with being the very smallest animal
that has four feet and such very nice figures,
and our nest so exquisite, many people are very
anxious to see us, and they who love little
things hunt for us, so we must be very careful,
for it is very very disappointing just as one
has worked so hard to make one's nest, and
fitted it with such lovely little darlings, to see
those corn spoilers' children playing at ball
with one's home."
"So it is, mama," said her eldest daughter.
"How would they like us to toss their house
up in the air, with them in it?"
Just because we're littler than them, too,"
"I'd fink they'd be sorry to hurt such very
ickle fings as us, mudder," said Toto.
Creepy sighed sadly. "Ah! darlings, being
little and weak does not always protect us.
The world is full of tyrants. But there are fine
noble natures who must protect and care for
anything weaker than themselves. I hope
each of you, my own dear mice, will grow up
one of those. But you had far better in the
end be the victim than the tyrant, if you keep
good and innocent. Darling little mice, attend
4 THE HAUGHTY HARVEST MOUSE.
to these words, and see what joy they will
bring you. Are you all listening to mama?"
*, -, ;/
The eight little mice looked up at their
dear mother. Every word she said they kept
as a treasure.
"Love and care for everything that is weaker
in any way than yourselves.
"Often the creature we help when it is weak
grows stronger than we, and richly rewards us.
But no reward is like the lovely feeling that
you are using your power, whether of age, or
health, or sense, or wealth, for some one who
really needs your help."
THE POWER OF LOVE. 25
"But can ickle mouses ike us do any good?"
"Any one," said Creepy so solemnly that all
those dear bright little eyes were fixed once
more on her face; "Any one who is full of love
is full of power. To LOVE, nothing is impos-
"It is the most mighty power in the universe.
A little mouse, with its heart'full of love, could
do greater things in the world than a strong
man without love."
All the little mice drew a deep breath.
"Oh, my mudder!" said Toto.
They never forgot their mother's words.
-"~~ ~~~~ ~ --- ,r >-? '
-, ~ *
Miss MAG PYE had an ungovernable passion
for all kinds of bright things.
It was high joy to her to see the brilliant ray
leap from the heart of the diamond, the fire-
flame of the ruby, the sea-green of the emerald,
the soft moonlight shimmer of the pearl, the
sky-like, changes of the opal, the laughing blue
of the sapphire like Pet's bright eyes.
She did not care for these things to adorn
herself, but for the pleasure of beholding all
this treasured wealth of imprisoned light,-
gleaming, sparkling, shimmering, dazzling, dart-
ing, changing with every stray sunbeam or
passing cloud! Mag revelled in the beauty of
her stolen trinkets in her nest at the top of a
28 THE SELF-DECEIVED MAGPIE.
She had always that cunning little eye of
hers on the look-out.
She had set her heart on a brooch worn by
a pretty lady who lived in a large house near
the tree where Mag's nest was, and her bed-
room window was quite close to this tree.
Whatever good is it to her?" said Mag;
"she hardly ever sees it: she puts it at her
neck, where she cannot possibly get a good
sight of the lovely rays of light that it sends
forth. Then at night she locks it up in a dark
box. Indeed it passes most of its time there. I
daresay the poor gem must feel sad, for light is
its life. After being shut up for no one knows
how long in a dark mine, he must be dis-
appointed to find he is not to live in the light
now he has come up from the bowels of the
earth. Poor thing! I shall get the dear im-
prisoned creature out as soon as ever I can."
So Mag Pye brooded over her craving for
the jewel day by day; and so she reasoned
with herself till she felt how very brave and
heroic was the act she had resolved on.
She stayed up late one night to watch the
window, peeping through the spaces in the
blind. She saw the pretty lady come to her
WATCHING THE PRIZE. 29
room and seat herself before the glass. Then
she took her brooch from her bosom and threw
it on the table as if she scorned it. Then she
threw her arms up, and clasping her hands
behind her head, rested it upon them, and so
sat thinking, thinking. Then she went to bed,
but left her brooch where she had thrown it.
"Ah, ah!" said Mag, "at last I have my
chance! The maid always comes to open the
window before the lady rises, and I will fly in
and have the brooch in a moment (if she does
not see it) as sure as my name is Mag;" and she
gave a little gleeful chuckle and hopped off to
The next morning she was awake early, with
her cunning eye-fixed on the window.
30 THE SELF-DECEIVED MAGPIE.
"Ah, my darling!" said she, "you shall soon
be free. You shall not pass half your life in
darkness. Here in my nest you will not lose
one sunbeam. You shall revel in and reflect
every lovely hue in nature. Your father, the
rainbow, will rejoice to see his likeness in you;
your cousins, the dewdrops, shall visit you; and
though I don't know how, I feel sure the sun is
nearly related to you-your great-grandfather
perhaps. How you must love him! You
will dance and smile when you see him, you
Now this was very nice talk of Mag Pye's,
and she was going on quite excited with her
own eloquence, when her uncle, the raven, who
she did not know was near her, made her start
by adding-" wink."
There was nothing the spiteful old fellow
enjoyed so much as "taking Mag down a bit."
He chuckled to himself when he could mortify
"As if King Diamond could do anything so
low!" said Mag. "Wink, indeed!"
"Oh, can't he?" said her uncle with that
slight sneering smile of his that he knew did
so torment her.
MAG'S DEAR UNCLE. 31
He was a vulgar-minded old bird.
"Well, good-bye, my dear," said he, when he
had enjoyed Mag's mortification for a time. "I
am going off to
a feast. I've
been round the
coast this mor-
ning and I saw
plenty of what ',
the horse calls i P
"And the raven
By and by
came the dove.
"I have had
such a lovely Q
the coast," said e
has just gone that way, but I should not think
you enjoyed your trip much, for he says there
are many foul things lying along the coast."
"I flew high," said the dove; "I saw nothing
32 THE SELF-DECEIVED MAGPIE.
painful, but many lovely things. I saw beds of
sea-weed, and sea-pinks on the cliffs, and much
that was fair and sweet, and very often I raised
my eyes to the sky, where all was calm and
beautiful, so I neither saw nor thought of any
evil thing." And the dove flew away.
Just then the horse came under the tree.
"How is it," asked Mag Pye, "that the dove
and my uncle tell such different tales, yet both
have been the very same road?"
"The dove's eyes are pure," said the horse,
"so she sees only what is lovely. The raven
(excuse me for speaking so of your uncle)"-
"Certainly," said Mag readily.
"Is himself unclean, and so nothing evil
escapes his keen scent, his searching malicious
gaze; therefore he and the dove will certainly
differ in the accounts they bring you of the
very same journey. While, as I say, no foul sight
or tainted thing will escape him, the dove with
her pure eyes will behold only all that is fair
and hopeful, and if forced to turn her sweet
eyes upon what is evil, she will look upwards to
the sky and rest them there."
"There is a difference between her tastes and
my uncle's, I see," said Mag.
A HORSE'S PHILOSOPHY. 33
"A difference in their very nature," said
the horse. "I mix much among men and
"women, and I find they are either ravens or
doves. I heard a conversation between two
ladies, one on my _.
back, one on my
wife's, that proves
"Dear me," said i I
Mag, who was very
inquisitive, "would /
you mind relating
it; your conversa-
tion is so improv-
ing, so brilliant, I
can listen to you .. /
and keep my eye
on that window /
at the same time;"
and she /'ame hop-
ping down close
to him, keeping her cunning little eye on the
The horse smiled slightly. He was a noble
creature, and a powerful reasoner, for he could
carry the heaviest farmer in the parish safely
34 THE SELF-DECEIVED MAGPIE.
over a five-barred gate-but still he was but a
horse, and this flattering speech of Miss Mag's
made an impression.
"Well," said he, I'll just give it you briefly,
to explain my meaning.
Mrs. Malice began. 'I employed yester-
day afternoon in calling on Mrs. Hart, Mrs.
Wilson, and Mrs. Ross,' said she.
"'I hear Mrs. Hart has very nice children,'
said Mrs. Downright, my mistress.
"'Yes,' replied Mrs. Malice; 'but I think a
person with a young family should not spend her
afternoons in bed. The children did not dare
to rouse her, so I never saw her. I shall not
call again. I only did so as a matter of duty.
She is such a lazy woman; dear, dear!'
"Mrs. Malice always ends her speeches with
a little sigh and 'dear, dear,' as if lamenting
over the folly of every one she knows.
"'Then I went,' said she, 'to Mrs. Wilson's,
but she quite tired me with the story of her sick-
nesses and domestic worries. Such a mistake
to dwell on them so-dear, dear!'
"'I thought you said you were fond of little
Mrs. Wilson,' said my mistress.
"'So I am; but being fond of a person does
MRS. DOWNRIGHT AND MRS. CHEERY. 35
not prevent our seeing their faults,' said Mrs.
"'Perhaps not altogether; but it does pre-
vent our talking of them, and so injuring and
lowering them in other people's eyes, cooling
their friends and serving their enemies. As I
once heard a clever child say, 'Such love is a
sham, and God sees it is.'
"After this speech of Mrs. Downright's you
may be sure Mrs. Malice did not stay long
"Mrs. Downright patted me and said, 'Give
me a good run, Chanticleer, to get rid of the
ill-temper such talk gives me.' So we set off
over the Downs.
"By and by we met Mrs. Cheery on Romeo,
my son. We ambled side by side to let our
"'I called on Mrs. Hart and Mrs. Wilson
yesterday,' said she.
"'Ah!' said Mrs. Downright; 'but you did
not see Mrs. Hart, I expect. Mrs. Malice called
and found her in bed.'
"' I saw the children, such darlings!' said
Mrs. Cheery; 'they said, 'Papa likes Mama to
have a long sleep in the afternoon, for she is
36 THE SELF-DECEIVED MAGPIE.
awake with baby in the nights; and she likes
to be bright and fresh when Papa comes home.'
So they gave me some tea, and I was so
charmed with them for taking such care of
"'You called on Mrs. Wilson too?'
"'Yes,' said Mrs. Cheery; 'Mrs. Malice was
there, and poor Mrs. Wilson poured out all her
troubles to her, though I fear it is not wise to
help her to dwell upon her vexations; but Mrs.
Malice appears so sympathetic.'
"'She is not,' said Mrs. Downright shortly.
"'Oh, no,' said Mrs. Cheery; 'we know that
well, but her manner is deceptive. Poor Mrs.
Wilson is really in a very weak and nervous
state, and while one pities her and feels sure
her sufferings are very real, I believe the best
thing for her is, in a short visit, to divert her
mind and if possible amuse her. She is an ex-
cellent wife and mother;' and Mrs. Cheery went
on to speak of many fine traits in Mrs. Wilson's
character. 'She is very sensitive,' said she,
"and she lets what other people say torment
her, and some of her relations are always find-
ing fault with her, blaming her for her ill-health,
calling her fanciful, and this really makes her
A SERMON APPLIED. 37
fretful, and adds to the mischief. No good ever
comes of fault-finding.'
We must," said the horse, train each other
by searching for and cultivating the good that
is in most of us; for good, being of its very
nature stronger than evil, must," said the em-
phatic horse, "tri-
umph in the end. /
Above all," said
beast, "let us be- \
ware, on peril of j
our higher inter- *- I
ests, of crushing '
self- respect, espe- .
cially in the young. .
I have seen the
from men up to
horses, ruined by this fatal process. We
may easily ruin a much finer nature than
our own by sneers and snubs and 'dear,
Mag Pye did not care in the least for all this
moralizing. She had her sly eye fixed on the
window, watching for the maid to open it and
38 THE SELF-DECEIVED MAGPIE.
let in the sweet morning air; but she said,
"True, quite true!" in a way that quite satisfied
the noble, simple-minded horse.
At last she heard the welcome sound, and
hopping to the window (with every appearance
of her mind being full of any other thought)
she saw with joy that the brooch still lay there,
that the maid had left the room, and that the
lady lay fast asleep, with her silky hair lying
in curls on her pillow. So Mag hopped in,
pounced eagerly on the brooch, and had it safe
in her nest in no time.
"There! I've done a good deed," said she;
"poor, oppressed King Diamond!" and she felt
so good and grand.
By and by the lady rose, and the first thing
she did was to look for the brooch; she had for-
given it by this time.
She rang wildly for the maid, and they
searched everywhere. Then she dressed in
great agitation, and ran to tell her papa. Her
papa sent for the police, and they suspected
the servants; and when they had all been
charged one by one, they packed their boxes
angrily and left, refusing all apologies. Then
MR. SHARP AND PET. 39
papa sent to a large town for a man who was
very sharp and clever.
The man came, and they told him every-
"Anything else missing?" he asked.
So they made a list, and it was found that a
ring, a spoon, several thimbles, and Pet's bright
shilling had disappeared.
Then the man said "he would smoke a cigar
in the garden. The air was a treat to him."
So he went into the garden.
As he was strolling among the flower-beds
Pet came running down the path, with her
bright hair streaming behind her, her blue
eyes sparkling, her red mouth laughing, show-
ing her white little baby teeth. She ran right
to him and caught him round the knees, and
looked up into his face with shouts of laughter.
"What's 'ou name?" said she.
"Dada," said he; "that's what my little girl
"What's 'ou come to see us for?" said she.
"To find your bright shilling," said he.
"I know who dot my sillin'," said Pet.
"Do you, dear? tell me, and 11ll soon get it
40 THE SELF-DECEIVED MAGPIE.
"Papa won't let me tell 'ou, I don't fink,"
"Ah!" said Dada, "then we mustn't say any
more about it," and he let Pet hold one of his
fingers and trot by him, while he told her a
story about a beautiful doll he had seen. If
we can find your bright shilling," said he, "we
might buy that doll; let us see if you dropped
it among the strawberry plants."
"No," said Pet, but I must not tell 'ou.
Misser Pye got my sillin'."
But the man was deep, he pretended to hunt
among the strawberry plants, though he had
heard fast enough.
By and by he said, "Mind you don't tell
any one Mr. Pye has got your shilling."
No, no," said Pet.
If you don't, I'll find it for you."
Then Pet kissed him, and said, "More kisses
if 'ou finds my sillin', Misser Dada."
He had a little Pet of his own, and he liked
those baby kisses; so he made up his mind he
would find Pet's shilling.
There are several bright shillings in the
world, and they are very much alike.
So he said, "We'll find that bright shilling,
. .f. .,,,. ..,,:
A PHIOSP- AN D ,T-."G4
'-' yI4v "" '
.~"- ,, t
/ x, ii "
A I S L N _H.I PAG 40
" - F-,,- ,.... r ,,:
.),6!.,~: ,,.., .;;;...#.
A -lLSPE AN A TI EF PAE
ABOUT MR. PYE. 41
Missie, only we must not say a word about Mr.
Pye, or Papa will scold us."
"He often comes to see you, eh? brings you
Yes, sugar-plums," said Pet.
"Do you love him?"
"Not now, he dot my sillin'."
"Oh no, no; you dropped it among the
strawberries; we'll find it, you'll see. I've come
Pet was delighted with the kind man who
had come a long way on purpose to find her
By and by her papa came down the garden,
and Pet ran away.
"This is a very quiet place, sir," said Mr.
Sharp, "scarcely any one you don't know the
name of, I suppose."
"No, indeed, there are not fifty families in
this village," said Pet's papa.
"I might as well take down a few names,
sir," said Mr. Sharp, bringing out his note-
So he wrote down the names, and Pet's papa
described the owners. When he had written a
42 THE SELF-DECEIVED MAGPIE.
good many he said, "I think that will do, sir.
I've got most of the neighbours."
"Well, yes, t*ere is only Mr. Brown, the
rector, and his curate, Mr. Pye, that I have left
out, I think."
But the man put his book away, as if he had
not heard him.
"Is the rector a rich man, sir," he asked.
"No," said the papa, "he has a large family,
and is poor enough."
"Curate poorer still, I suppose ? Mr. Gye?
"Pye, Mr. Pye. Yes, he is poorer still; has
a larger family too, but an excellent man."
No doubt of it. Well, now, I'll take a stroll
in the village, sir, and pick up all I can and
away went Mr. Sharp.
Every one thought he had come down to
look after a cottage that was to be let, and he
chatted and gossiped with the villagers.
On the next day, Sunday, he went to church,
and was very attentive to Mr. Pye's sermon.
Then he went back to his inn, and smoked
quietly all afternoon.
The next day he spent chiefly with Pet in
her papa's garden, and they had another hunt
among the strawberry beds.
MR. SHARP'S SUSPICION. 43
Not a word did he say about the brooch, and
Pet's sister said to her papa, "Send him away,
papa, he is a lazy man, and is1joying himself
in the country for a day or two. Let us have
a man from London. All this time the thief is
getting off with my brooch."
But that evening Mr. Sharp said, "I must
ask you, sir, to let me sleep in the library to-
So you've found the thief out, have you?"
"I hope I shall have him safe to-night, sir;
you shall find him here in'the morning, I think
I can promise."
"You can let me in without any one know-
ing, if you like. Get Mr. Pye to come and
have a long chat with you, sir, and as you let
him out, after every one else is in bed, you can
let me in, and no one will ever know I am in
So Pet's papa asked no questions, for he saw
Mr. Sharp did not wish to be asked even for
But as Mr. Sharp was strolling that evening
with Pet he made her very uneasy, for she
heard him say to himself:
"Yes, I think I have the thief in my eye."
44 THE SELF-DECEIVED MAGPIE.
Pet once had had a little fly in her eye, and
she knew how painful it was; so she was con-
cerned for Mr. Sharp when she heard him say
he had "a thief in his eye." She looked up at
"Dot a fief in you eye?" she said, bewildered
and anxious; "dot a fief in you eye, Misser
"No, no, an eyelash," said Mr. Sharp, wiping
Just then Mr. Pye came; he had some sugar-
plums in his pocket, but Pet would not be
coaxed; she ran away, and soon after went to
Mr. Sharp had cautioned her papa and sister
not to say one word as to who he was, even to
Mr. Pye, till the next day. So when Mr. Pye
came they did not show him the revolver which
was to be put in the library, and some strong
cords. At first Mr. Sharp said he should not
need them, he had his own weapons, but after-
wards he said: "Very well, as you please;" so
when Pet's papa let Mr. Pye out, he let Mr.
Sharp in, and took him to the library and
showed him all the preparations.
"All right, sir," said Mr. Sharp; "now, do
MR. SHARP'S PREPARATIONS. 45
you go to bed; I see all the windows are care-
fully closed as I directed."
"See to your revolver, have your handcuffs
ready, and don't hesitate to alarm the house if
you are getting the worst of it, Sharp," said
Pet's papa. "Do you want anything more?"
"I have all I want here, sir," pointing to a
black bag. "I think you'll find I shall get
him pretty quietly. You may come and see how
we get on soon after daybreak, if you like, but
not too soon, say six o'clock. Good night, sir."
So he was bolted firmly into the library, in
case the thief should get the better of him and
break out into the house.
As soon as Mr. Sharp was left alone he lay
down on the sofa, covered himself with the rug,
and went fast asleep. He never closed the
shutters or even drew down the blind, or
troubled his head to look at the revolver.
As soon as the day began to break he opened
his eyes; rising gently, he took from the bag
he had brought with him a cage, a net, and
some bits of looking-glass, and some bright
brass buttons. He opened the window quietly,
and laid the glass and buttons where the sun-
beams would fall on them. Soon they began
46 THE SELF-DECEIVED MAGPIE.
to glitter in the morning light. By and by he
saw, from his hiding-place behind the curtain,
Mag Pye come hop, hop, hop, with her head on
one side and her artful old eye looking at the
bright objects. She stole a brass button and
took it to the top of a high tree. Then she
came back for a bit of looking-glass, but Mr.
Sharp threw the net over her and took her
prisoner in the Queen's name. He popped her
in the cage and left her to think, while he got
a ladder and soon found her nest. He brought
it down, and Mag Pye had to bear to see him
turn over her hoards. There, sure enough,
were the brooch, ring, and thimbles.
"Where is Pet's bright shilling, I wonder?"
sai Mr. Sharp, "I don't see it. Oh yes! here
it is," he said at last, as he drew his closed
hand from his pocket. He was so deep, you
see, he would not own even to himself how
deep he was. "Here it is, sure enough!" said
he. "I must have overlooked it."
And now, there in the nest, beside the brooch,
lay a bright new shilling.
It was a punishment to Miss Mag to have to
stand close by all her bright treasures, and not
be able to get at them.
MAG'S REPENTANCE. 47
"I wish I'd had nothing to do with King
Diamond," said she, "no good ever comes of
helping royal prisoners to escape;" and she cast
such sullen looks at him.
By and by she said, "I daresay he does
wink." This was mean of her. It showed a
very little mind, after all her flattery and sen-
timental speeches, to find a pleasure in accus-
ing him of vulgarity.
Now the sun was shining gloriously, and
daylight was pouring in at the window.
"The moment that pretty baby named Mr.
Pye I suspected you, madam," said Mr. Sharp;
"she's earned her shilling."
Soon a tap was heard at the door.
"Have you got him?" asked the papa.
"Yes, sir," answered Mr. Sharp.
48 THE SELF-DECEIVED MAGPIE.
"Is it Bob Smith?"
"I know it's Misser Pye," said Pet.
"How dare you say so, Pet?" cried her
"Have 'ou got my sillin', Misser Dada?"
Pet capered about for joy.
The servants that remained were all excite-
ment. The butler betted it was Bob Smith; the
groom that it was Dan Jones; the servant-girls
were pale and nervous, for they knew they had
been encouraging some ungentlemanly sweet-
Who can it be?" each one asked the
other. They guessed every name they could
think of. Sometimes when you have been
guessing a long time you will find it is a good
plan to ask.
"Is it a parishioner, Sharp?" asked Pet's
It is, sir," answered Mr. Sharp.
"Any one we know?"
"Yes, sir, I should think so."
"Has he been at my house before?"
"WHO CAN IT BE2" 49
"Pretty often, I should say, sir, but unbe-
known to you maybe."
The servant-girls looked scared.
"What name, Sharp?"
Pye, sir. We've got the brooch."
"Misser Pye, have 'ou dot my sillin'?"said Pet.
Her papa turned white and tottered.
Her sister burst into tears.
"And you whipped Pet for saying so, Papa,"
sobbed her sister.
"My dear! I should as soon have suspected
the archbishop," said her father in great distress.
"Oh Pye! my dear old friend! has it come
to this? How could you let your poverty
tempt you? Will it distress you to see me?"
cried Pet's father.
He dismissed the servants, out of respect for
Mr. Pye's feelings, and begged to be let in.
"Speak to me, Pye. Why doesn't he an-
Sulky, sir," answered Sharp.
"Will you let me in?"
"In a few minutes," answered Mr. Sharp,
who was enjoying the scene, sitting quietly on
"He can't be dangerous. Why won't you
50 THE SELF-DECEIVED MAGPIE.
open the door?" called Pet's papa in greatly
"Oh don't hurt him!" sobbed his daugh-
Misser Pye, 'ou very naughty to steal my
sillin'," cried Pet.
"Pet, how can you be so horrid?" said her
sister, pushing her away.
Mr. Sharp now slowly began to unbolt the
Here is the thief, sir, and here's the missing
property," said the clever thieftaker.
They all stood like stone for a minute; then
there was a laugh, peal on peal.
The servants came back, and they laughed
loudest, especially the maids.
Mag stood looking sullen and humiliated, as
she witnessed her hoard turned over and every
one claiming their property.
Pet seized her shilling, and hugged Mr.
Sharp; "Misser Pye put it in a nest," she
Just then Mr. Pye, happening to pass on his
morning walk, was called in to hear the story
amid shouts of laughter, in which he joined.
He explained why Pet suspected him. He
had been conjuring with her new shilling and
made it disappear mysteriously, so when it
really was lost she considered it was his doing.
Every one forgave poor little Pet.
As for Mag Pye, her fine talk of "rescuing
I i i I II the captive" was at an
':i"! end, for she was sen-
tenced to imprisonment
rfor life herself, anil given
>4 to Pet.
SThe horse heard the
!" ] whole story, and was
good enough to draw
I -" several morals. "We
must on no account
i i', ttlihilnk that two wrongs can ever
IMake a right," said he. "We
Must try not to cheat ourselves
into the belief that we are acting
from lofty motives when, in fact, we are pleas-
ing ourselves; but this is a very common
blunder, though most serious. And above all,"
concluded this wise animal, "we must not do
evil that good may come. Not until I have
with my own eyes seen a cluster of grapes
spring from thistle seed, will I believe that
52 THE SELF-DECEIVED MAGPIE.
anything but evil in tenfold crops can spring
from evil, even when disguised as good."
Having delivered these valuable remarks, the
admirable horse trotted complacently to his
"What he says," added Mr. Pye, "is Eternal
AN innocent amiable snail was passing an ant
who was scurrying along. The snail was me-
"Why," said he to the ant, "I was just
thinking about you. I've come from the peach-
tree, and I heard the man say to his little
man, -' Next to man, my dear, we believe
the ant to be the most clever animal that
To think of that now!" he added, bending
his horns admiringly towards the ant.
"Well, of course; do you suppose I didn't
know that?" said the ant, preparing to bustle
54 THE TENDER-HEARTED ANT.
'But wait, stop a bit," cried the snail,
"you're always in such a hurry, can't you stop
and have a chat ? "
"A chat, indeed! why, I've got fifty things
to do. Those tiresome creatures have gone off
"Who have gone off again? What tiresome
creatures?" asked the snail slowly.
"Why, those mothers, and if we don't get
them back at once they will start off house-
keeping on their own account."
"Why shouldn't they, poor things?" said the
amiable snail. But the ant had no time to stop
to argue with him. Off she bustled as fast as
her little legs could carry her, till she came up
to an ant larger than herself with two whitish
How very tiresome you are, my dear!" said
she irritably; "what trouble you cause me! I
had to leave my work to look after you. You
must come back at once."
"Why must I? asked the poor winged ant,
who seemed to be enjoying herself in the sun-
shine. "I don't want to come." But the cross
little ant seized her by the leg, and hauled her
off without any more words.
THE QUARREL. 55
"I was thinking," said the winged ant, "that
I would go off and make a home of my own,
and not come back any more to the hill."
"Oh! were you? well, you'll do nothing of
the kind-you're to come back to the hill."
It's rather hard I can't have my own chil-
dren to myself," said the big ant.
"Stuff! what do you know about children?
come, make haste, make haste."
"I've had several, I ought to know some-
thing about them. I'm a mother, you know."
A mother indeed! What do mothers know
"I do believe you think they know nothing
about them," said the mother angrily.
"Of course I do, I'm sure of it; do you
56 THE TENDER-HEARTED ANT.
suppose I couldn't teach any mother her
How can you tell? you never really brought
up a baby. You only see other people's, and
help with the little ones. You've never really
had the anxiety of a lot of young grubs actually
on your mind. I don't believe, you little fidget,
you could bear it one day with your love of
rule and discipline."
But the little black bustling ant went on
dragging the mother, who was not very strong,
till she got her home to the hill. As they got
near the hill where all the ants lived it was a
busy scene. Some were being sent out to bring
back some more mothers, and some were stand-
ing guarding the entrance to the colony.
As the ant who had charge of the mother
she had brought back, passed one of these
watchmen she lowered her two fine horns; so
did the other.
She took the mother to her place and said,
"Now don't bother me by going off again, stop
there and lay your eggs, and we'll look after
the little ones." So the big ant laid her eggs
and was very proud of them.
She was a very good and wise mother, and
WONDERFUL FOLKS. 57
would have been glad of the help of the other
ants, but they helped her in such an interfering
way, as if they knew best about her babies.
No mama likes that. They would come in and
bustle off with her eggs to put them in the
sunshine or out of the wet; they were for ever
flying about with them. The eggs were very
tiny when first laid, but by and by they grew
a little larger, then out of them came a tiny
Such a hungry, greedy little thing! The
mother really would have been most thankful
for the help of the active nurse ants now, if
only they had given it her in a nicer way;
but they never asked her; they fed her children,
carried them about just as they chose, and took
all on themselves in such a self-satisfied
You see WE are such wonderful folks," was
their opinion; "what we do must be just the
When the little grubs grew up they spun for
themselves a little covering like a larger egg,
and there they lay, and when any little boy
came into the garden, and with a kick upset
the ant hill, the ants could be seen in such
58 THE TENDER-HEARTED ANT.
excitement, rushing off with great babies on
their backs, bigger than themselves. Many
people call them ant eggs, but they are not,
though they look just like eggs. The true eggs
are much smaller.
At last the nurse ants cut open these egg-like
i ---.-- -----------
cases when the right 'time came, and out of
each came a perfect ant.
One of these young ants was born very affec-
tionate, and longed to see its mother. She
went about asking every ant she met till she
found her dear mother. But she scarcely knew
her, for her wings were gone, and she had heard
her mother had wings.
A GOOD CHILD. 59
"Why, mama, you do look funny, such a big
ant without any wings," said she. "What be-
came of them?"
"I clipped them off, my dear, as we all do in
time; and now I am pleased to find you are a
good child, and don't forget mother. Come
and see your brothers that have been under
my own care."
So they all made friends, and were soon a
party of busy workers, and helped to rear as
convenient a building as any one could wish
to see. Streets, galleries, large chambers all
so perfect. Some were carpenters, some were
masons. The best masons were yellow ants,
they could with only earth and rain water
make a strong cement with their tiny feet, and
make a firm strong roof to their house.
When this little Blacky, as her mother named
her, had been born some weeks she began to
feel choky, and told a friend so.
"You are dirty, my dear," said her friend,
"so am I, we must give each other a good
Then she told Blacky to stand still while she
rubbed and licked her, and made her quite
fresh and clean, and then she made Blacky do
60 THE TENDER-HEARTED ANT.
the same for her, and they were so refreshed
and ran away quite shining.
Blacky lived a happy life, for she would not
hurry and drive like some ants she saw. She
would take time to look at pretty things, and
to help any sick or sad insect.
One day she was nursing an old ant who was
dying, and who said to her, My dear, I have
done a great deal of work in my time, but I
think if I had my life to come over again, I
would see more of the lovely flowers that grow
in the garden where we lived. I would not be
in such a bustle of business, for it keeps one's
mind always on one's own works; and now I
am going out of life, and I hardly have seen
half a dozen of the flowers that grow in the
fair garden which I now must leave. And I
am sure I would be kinder, and spend more
time over the sick and sad and weak, and not
always be thinking, 'What comes next when
this job is done?' My little mind-and it is
only now I see how very little it was-was for
ever in a work, I have had no time to enjoy
myself, and now I must go." What the ant
said made Blacky think.
"I will take time to see all the fair things
TRUE WISDOM. 61
about me," said she; "I do think it is as much
a duty very often to do what we like or ought
to like, as to be for ever denying ourselves. I
am sure if I were a mother, and put my chil-
dren into a lovely house with all kinds of
pretty things in it to please them, they would
vex me very much if they went hurrying on
and saying,-' Oh, I've no time to look at them
or think about them.'"
So this little ant, though she did a proper
share of work, would have some time for amuse-
ment, and if she saw any insect in pain or
woe, she would leave off her building, for, said
she, "there is no work to compare to that of
helping a creature God made and that feels joy
Coming home once, they met the snail. "I
am glad to see you," said the honest kind
creature, "here's an ant drowning, and I don't
know what to do for it."
A busy little party of workers, all with their
own set task, was returning home; not one of
them turned to help this poor ant but Blacky.
They all said they must stick to their post,"
"keep their rules," and so on.
"And let a fellow-ant die?" cried Blacky.
62 THE TENDER-HEARTED ANT.
"No! not if I am stung to death for breach of
orders will I leave a poor thing to suffer one
little pain I can cure. Go on, all of you, go on
your cruel way. I shall stay with this sinking
fellow-creature." So she stayed, and lifted up
the poor sick ant's heavy head, and spoke
kind words, and did all she could for her.
"If only I could get a dry leaf I could put
you on it, and make you so comfortable," said
she. Just then two ants came running back
Oh, Blacky!" said they, "you are good; we
both see how right you are. What is all our
fine building, our fussy work, compared to this
fellow being which God Himself has made?
We both felt we should not have any good luck
with our work, if we left His work in such a
So they brought a nice dry leaf, put the wet
ant on it, drew it to a warm shelter, and then
they rubbed and tended her till she was able
to crawl to a nice plum; a few sips of the juice
made her quite strong, and she thanked her
three little friends so fervently that they were
"She might have died," said Blacky, if
THE REWARD OF WELL-DOING. 63
you nad not come to help me just when you
"If she had!" said her friend awe-struck.
"Ah, if she had, what would the Maker of her
"He would hate the sight of our work," said
the eldest ant.
"And I am sure," said Blacky, "we never
could have asked Him then to make us wise
to do it, but now we have helped His ant, His
own work, He will make us get on with ours."
Oh I'm sure He will, famously," said the
And it was true, for these three good ants
prospered in all they did; they had such easy
minds, that they loved their work, and went
about it in such a calm way that it was done
at once, and well done. Then they would all
three go cheerfully off and make trips of
pleasure to the rose-tree, or the jasmine, and
open their ears to the sweet songs of the birds,
and look up to the graceful butterflies, and
they had a much happier life than the rest of
the anxious, fidgeting, bustling, strict little
The ant they had saved came to see them
64 THE TENDER-HEARTED ANT.
sometimes, but often sent them her blessing
and thanks by any of her folks who were
coming that way. So these three little hearts
glowed with joy to their life's end.
The snail came to see.them.
"Ah," he said in his slow way, "if all ants
only thought as you do; but they don't, they
are mostly bustlers and hurriers."
most discontented mate. She was always re-
pining. He laid it to the fact of her having
once spent a week shut up with Miss Tidy.
Miss Tidy was a depressing little woman. She
would own that she "saw the dark side of
things" not with shame and pain, but as if it
was rather a superior frame of mind. She had
quite a nice little income, but she enjoyed
telling herself, she couldn't afford this or that
little pleasure. It was her nature, and if she
had had a large fortune, she still would have
taken a pleasure in saying this. Many a man
66 THE LOW-SPIRITED ROBIN.
has had to bring up a wife and family on the
income Miss Tidy had for her own use. She
would watch her fire, and her gas, as if when
those coals were gone and that gas bill paid,
she would never see fire or light again. It is
in some people to do this, just as others will be
cheery and give all around them a feeling of
plenty, yet spend less than Miss Tidy. Her
income was as certain as any earthly thing can
be, yet she suffered from anxiety, and long
and carefully considered every sixpence she
spent. When people do this they lose nearly
all the sweetness of life; for God does not like
it, it is not respectful to Him to fidget so over
money, as if He really could not give us just as
much as He sees fit in so many many ways,
and kept a fierce eye on our sixpences.
Well, Mr. Robin, who was a most cheerful
little fellow, grew very sad over the change in
She had strayed into Miss Tidy's room one
very cold day, and Miss Tidy put her in a cage,
and after she had taken her breakfast of thick
bread and butter and her cup of coffee, she
would give Robin the crumbs.
Miss Tidy's breakfast was a low-spirited
CEIEECIFULT Ml OI:(II .SD HIY UISC(,STIESTB \IATE. rlGE (iF
MISS TIDY'S BREAKFAST. 67
meal; a nice cheerful well-made round of good
hot toast, a cup of strong rich coffee, half hot
milk, would have put some life into her old
frame, and when she came to reckon her
monthly bills, she would have found hardly any
difference in them. But as she ate the thick
bread and butter and drank her coffee, of which
a certain quantity must last so long, with just
such a quantity of milk in it, she felt self-
Sometimes we indulge ourselves most, when
we think we are self-denying, we are such blind
bats. Much better to make our homes, our
meals, and all our surroundings as good, as
bright, as pleasant as we can, and not always
be stinting in our proper care of ourselves,
often for the sake of a future which we may
never see, and for which God has said, He will
provide if we will but trust Him, or worse
still, for the mere excitement of saving six-
pences, or keeping within some sum we have
"Well, Mrs. Robin heard so much dismal talk
during that week she could not get over it.
For Miss Tidy did not hide from any one
that she was very wise, and that most other
-68 THE LOW-SPIRITED ROBIN.
folks were very silly, so a good many people
thought she must be right, and she set many
people moaning and repining, and among others
poor weak Mrs. Robin.
When she got home to her husband, she
copied Miss Tidy. She began at once.
"I wonder whether I've done right to fly
away after all, I'm only come home to be
a burden on you."
"What do you mean, Ruby? cheer up, old
girl," said Robin.
"The worst of the winter's yet to come, and
wherever our food is to come from I can't think."
"Well, don't think, my dear; you've had
nearly enough for to-day. Eat this bit of grub
I found, and let's go to roost. Don't worry, my
dear, I'll take care of you," said cheery little Bob.
Mrs. Bob smiled a sad and plaintive smile.
"I don't doubt you, my dear, but-" and she
gave a doleful sigh.
"There, go to sleep, old lady," said Robin,
"you'll be all right when you wake up; you're
tired, and that makes everything look dark."
So he truly thought, but the next morning,
after they had had their early service of song,
to Bob's dismay she began to sigh again.
CHEERY LITTLE BOB. 69
"Life is very difficult," said she, borrowing
a favourite expression of Miss Tidy's.
r: .... .
Bob stared at her.
"Come, my dear, this won't do at any price.
Life is delightful."
"A charming world! Why, just look, my
----^.--- -.-^ --.v--"
dear, look round for one moment, it's quite
blessing enough to be born among such beauty."
So she looked round on the wonderful sight
"-the hoar-frost trimming up the bushes and
trees, the sun shining and sparkling on it.
"Now," said Robin, "what do you say to
that sight ? Why, old Mag Pye has a stone in
70 THE LOW-SPIRITED ROBIN.
her nest that she stole, a jewel she calls it, but
it's no more to be compared with such a sight
as this, my dear! yet many people will give any-
thing to get a lot of those stones, who never
care to look at such a lovely scene as this."
As he had just come in with a nice break-
fast, Mrs. Bob could not groan over her own
troubles, so she began over other people's.
Fearful for the poor sparrows," and her little
head went from side to side.
"Well my love," said Bob, "I am sure we
only weaken ourselves by groaning over our
own troubles or those of others; now, do make
up your mind to enjoy your breakfast."
"Where's dinner to come from?" said the
woebegone little bird.
"Why, where breakfast came from," said
"Ah, my dear, you have such spirits, you are
"Well, there's something in that," said he,
for he had a manly little heart, and he felt for
those weaker than himself.' "I daresay you
are not well, dear. Stop at home nice and
warm, and I'll go and forage for dinner."
"She gave a sigh-"Yes, go, my dear. I shall
A VISIT TO MISS TIDY'S. 71
be lonely, but I can bear it, I don't want to be
a hinderance to your pleasure."
"A hinderance to my pleasure," repeated he
bewildered, "why, you won't be that, far from
it; come by all means if you feel inclined."
So with the air of an injured bird she stepped
on to a twig and they flew off together. They
flew to Miss Tidy's window, it was open, and
they stood pecking some crumbs while Miss
Tidy talked to her niece, a young person who
was going to a situation as governess, and who
seemed at first in good spirits about it.
But Miss Tidy shook her head, and thought
72 THE LOW-SPIRITED ROBIN.
of many difficulties likely to turn up. Then
when she had brought her niece to a nice
desponding frame of mind, she gave her some
gold, and sent her away desponding.
"Why," said Bob, she had much better have
given her cheerful words. Money is not the
best gift, I see. I see now what it is has upset
this poor little wife of mine. I would have given
a year of my life rather than she should have got
hold of this dismal spirit." So he got her away
from Miss Tidy's, but the mischief was done.
That day Bob in his flight was wondering
what he could do to cheer up his wife, when he
flew in at an open window, and found himself
in a church. He perched on the altar-rail and
listened to a glorious song of praise. Then he
saw the people sink on their knees. Soon after
there was a burst of joyful song that filled
Robin's little heart with ecstasy, he too sang
with all his might from the depth of his grateful
heart. By and by he heard some words that
filled him with astonishment and joy. Then he
joined in one more burst of praise and flew out
to take home the glad tidings to his dear wife.
"My dearest," he said, "I bring you such
good news that will cure your sadness at once
BOB'S GOOD NEWS. 73
and for ever. I heard some strange grand
words, read out of a book that I am sure is
truth, and somehow I feel in me that those
words must come to p';t-i, and are a cure for all
woe. So when I have told you, make haste to
tell Miss Tidy, and she will never even see 'a
dark side' again. These are the wonderful
words:-' Not one sparrow is forgotten before
God.' That is for us, my dear, so we never can
fret any more. But there is something better
for Miss Tidy: 'Ye are of more value than
many sparrows.' Go, love, bear these words to
her that she may fret no more. Tell her that
"not one sparrow is forgotten, and that she is
of more value than many.' She will let that
poor niece know, whom she made so dismal,
and set her right too."
Mrs. Bob hid her face.
"Bob, my dear, that beautiful place was a
church, where men go to hear the Truth. I
never will groan any more; but it is of no use
to go to Miss Tidy, for before she takes her
breakfast she goes to church. She has heard
those words all her life, but they do her no good."
Bob's honest little heart was wrung. He
stood awe-struck. Does Miss Tidy go to that
74 THE LOW-SPIRITED ROBIN.
place week by week, and hear those comfortable
words, and dare to repine? Ah! she does not
believe that book! But of course she does not
dare to join those songs of praise, for that is
but to take a lie on her lips. I must be alone
a while, my dear, my heart is so full.
"Not one sparrow! Not one little weak
He flew into a large tree, and, after a time of
silence, he burst into such a song of joy as his
wife had never heard before. Flying to his
side, God's two dear birds poured out their
thankful little hearts in a gush of rich melody.
S-2J :, -
L~ 3~iil96~~~ s IIi ?~
THEP TR~oIo A ~ DISOYBEDP\IE J4/)oJ.
ON a tree in an old garden hung a bunch of
nuts, three in the bunch. In each of these nuts
lived a plump little maggot, two little brothers
and an elder sister. It is not often that mag-
gots have names, but these were named. The
little boys were Roly and Chubby, and the
sister was Miss Fattie.
They lived a quiet life in their homes, on
which they fed day by day. It was indeed a life
of peace and plenty, and they could talk to each
other as they peeped out of the little holes. (A
bird told them they were brothers and sister.)
One day they felt such a shock.
76 THE PROUD AND DISOBEDIENT MAGGOT.
Miss Fattie stopped nibbling to think.
"Something has happened, I am sure," said
she; "I must prepare my mind or I shall be in
some sad trouble."
Roly and Chubby felt the shock. "Oh!"
said Roly, "never mind; I am safe shut up in
my nice nut. I'm all right;" and he went on
nibbling. Chubby thought a minute, then he
said, "Oh! sister's in the next nut; she'll take
care of me; for he was a loving, trusting little
thing, and he went on nibbling.
Well, they went on moving, arid Roly and
Chubby went on eating, but Miss Fattie gave
all her mind to serious thought, so that she
might be prepared to act. I know my dear
little brothers are in my bunch," said she; I
must look after them."
By and by the great basket in which their
nuts had been placed, with many others, was
carried to market, and Miss Fattie and her
brothers were sold to a green-grocer. That
very day a lady came and bought them, and
now there was nothing but tossing about, first
into a paper bag, then into a dish; and now the
poor tired little country folks had a little rest.
By and by they were carried along and put
MISS FATTIE'S FEARS. 77
down on a table, and they heard such a noise
of talk and laughter they were quite confused.
Presently a fearful crash quite stunned them.
Chubby's nut was burst open with a noise like
thunder, and the next moment Miss Fattie
came tumbling out of hers.
"Oh, dear Fattie!" cried Chubby, running
to her; "what a time since I saw you! What
is this noise, and wherever are we?" and he
laid his little nose on her plump white neck.
Another shock and Roly came tumbling on
to them, with his two little eyes quite round
"I am afraid, my dear little brothers, our
end is come," said Miss Fattie; "but keep close
to me under this green husk."
Chubby crept close to his kind sister, but by
and by Roly would peep out. Then he thought
he should like to go about and see the world,
but Fattie begged him not to run such risks.
"I see quite a mountain of nuts some way
off, and I had nearly eaten mine; so I shall go,"
Not a word Miss Fattie and Chubby could
say would he hear. He crept off to the side of
the plate, then he fell off and hurt himself.
78 THE PROUD AND DISOBEDIENT MAGGOT.
"Come back, dear! whispered Miss Fattie,
and pushed a bit of husk to him to climb on.
But he caught sight of his little fat form in the
bright table, and he was quite pleased with it,
and off he marched so proud.
By and by a gentleman caught sight of him
coming up the table. "Here comes a little
traveller," he cried. "Now, Brown, bet on him.
Here is my little man; and he put another
little maggot he found on his plate by Roly's
side so that they might run a race. Roly won
it; but a gentleman near him took him up on
the end of his knife and put him on his plate,
when he fell into some salt and soon died in
Meanwhile Chubby kept quite close to his
sister, and no one saw them under the green
husk; so they went quietly on eating a nice
nut and enjoying the milky juice. By and by
the noisy gentlemen left the table.
"Now," said Miss Fattie, "let us creep away
quick to a plate where there is no salt."
So they made haste, and were soon on a nice
plate, where they hid again.
"Now we can do no more but wait and hope
for the best," said Fattie.
THE MOTH'S STORY. 79
"I will do all you tell me, sister," said
Chubby, "for I see how wise you are. Poor
Roly might have been here so snug with us."
Miss Fattie said, "Roly was always proud
and self-willed, I expect;" and she sighed.
"Fattie," said Chubby, "will you tell me
something about our childhood, about papa and
mama, and what we did when we were babies?
However did we get into our nuts?"
"My dear, I can't tell you," said Fattie. "The
first thing I remember was being in a soft nut."
"I had nearly eaten mine," said Chubby.
"I begin to feel comical, as if I should like to
bury myself and go to sleep."
Just then the servant came in, threw all the
nutshells into a basket, and Fattie and her
brother with them, and they were thrown out
on a heap of rubbish. There were some
flowers, much too fresh to be thrown away,
lying on this heap; and as the little maggots
were chatting a moth settled on the flowers
and listened to them.
"Does it puzzle you to know how you came
into your nuts?" said she. "Well, I can tell
you all about your mama, for I saw her put
80 THE PROUD AND DISOBEDIENT MAGGOT.
"Did she make the hole in the side, then?"
said Chubby. "However could she? My teeth
are much too soft."
"Your mama, my dears, was not a maggot;
but I will tell you all I know. I had had my
wings for some time, for I was not always a
moth, when, as I was sitting on a nut-tree
watching the young nuts, I saw an insect like
a small lady-bird come flying to a bunch of
three nuts. She had long, branching sort of
horns on her head, and very strong jaws. She
pierced the three soft nuts easily, and then laid
an egg in each, and left you all three to hatch.
in the new nut, so you may well not remember
"Then what would have happened if we
never had been turned out of our nuts?"
You would have got very drowsy."
"There!" said Chubby, "I said I felt
"You would have crawled out of your nuts
and crept into the earth, when you would have
lost your activity and shrunk into a quiet state.
After a time you would have come out of this
state very lively, with wings-in short, just
what your mama was when I saw her."
FATT1E AND CHUBBY'S REWARD. 81
"What shall we do now? asked Chubby.
"I advise you to stay on this heap, find some
of the nuts that were left on the plates and feed
on them. You are both near the day you will
want to sleep in the earth for a time, then you
will wake to a new life and rise high in the air."
So Fattie and Chubby thanked the kind
brown moth that gave them such sensible
advice. They did what she told them, and
soon were two fine insects, and then they laid
eggs in nuts as their mama had done. They
had been meek and patient, and now they
were rewarded. They were content to do their
best and wait quietly till help came.
It is the wisest thing we can do.
THE day Belle saw brown Bee was a very
busy and important day in the hive where it
I must first tell you Bee had a sister born
the very same day, named Bee-bee. She was
very weak, poor thing, rather nervous, and more
easily flustered than bees generally are.
Well, they were a happy hive, had very few
quarrels, for they were so constantly employed
that there was no time for wrangling, and Bee-
bee was very happy, for Bee was good to her,
and so protected her that no one found out
she was excitable.
The day Bee had met Belle and Beauty, he
found Bee-bee waiting and watching for him
near the door of the hive, her two little eyes
round with anxiety.
"Oh, Bee, I'm so glad to see you! there is
such a fuss! I'm sure something has gone
wrong. The queen has gone mad, I think, and
I am so frightened I'm quite tottering."
"So I see," said Bee, "but there's nothing
much the matter I'll be bound; there, help me
to get rid of this sticky load, and I'll soon find
out all about it."
"Whatever is this, Bee?" said Bee-bee. "I
never saw this stuff before."
"Yes you have," said Bee; -"I have been
getting that brown shining gum that is on the
buds of trees, to line the cells, and mend the
places in the hive that want mending, you've
seen it often."
"Was it this I saw you kneading up with
some wax the other day, Bee?"
"Yes, to be sure, and then Buzzie mended
that crack with it, that was it."
Just then a great disturbance took place.
From the edge of the comb hung three cells
something the shape of little pears. These
three cells were called the Royal Cells, and in
each of these the Queen-bee had laid an egg.
Then this egg turned into a small grub
something like a maggot, and the good nurse
FLIGHT OF THE QUEEN. 85
bees fed it every day with nice food, made of
meal from flowers, honey and water.
Well, these grubs had been fed some days,
when all of a sudden, one day, the queen began
to fly about in such a wild way, running over
these royal cells, popping partly into them,
then out again, and in such a frantic state that
the working bees were quite excited and all
"Whatever is the matter, Bee?" said Bee-
"The queen is about to leave the hive, dear.
Which shall we do, go with her or stay here?"
"Oh!" said Bee-bee, I cannot bear to think
of leaving to seek a new home."
"But I love the queen so," said Bee, "we
may never see her again;" and he half flew to
the crowd that were gathering round the queen
to fly away with her. But, looking at Bee-
bee, and seeing how weak she was, how unfit
to struggle with the world, he stood firm, as
the queen, having assembled all her subjects
who meant to follow her, spread her wings
and sailed out of the hive, with a whole swarm
of faithful friends.
When the bees who were out gathering
honey came back, the first news they heard
was that the queen was gone. Then the elder
"Now, we must be very careful to watch the
royal cells, for the new queens are near coming
out. The old queen knew this, and she knew
that there can only be one queen in a hive, so
she has had the good sense and kind feeling
to leave rather than have to be obliged to put
these new queens to death."
So some of the bees were set to guard the
royal cells and watch for the moment the new
young queens should pop their heads.out.
In a few days the bees saw one young queen
peep out, but they would not let her come,
they directly sealed up the cell with wax, then
the second and third queens they served in the
same way, and kept them prisoners two days.
Bee-bee was sorry to see Bee act so cruelly, as
she thought; she fancied Bee meant to kill the
"Oh, Bee!" said she, "how can you do so?
poor dear queens!"
"My dear," said Bee, "if we let them out
now they would die, they are not fit to fight
with the world yet, but in two days more they
BEE-BEE TAUGHT. 87
will get the use of their wings and fly so
"Oh, Bee-bee, we seldom do wrong, for we
obey a wise Power; we do not wait a moment
to ask why, and we always see the end is
"I beg your pardon, Bee," said Bee-bee
meekly, "I will watch in future, not doubt
"Well then, Bee-bee, watch that first cell
and you will see a great deal to surprise you,
for the first queen is about coming forth."
Bee-bee fixed her eyes on the cell, and in
another moment out flew the queen. She just
looked round her, then flew to the other two
royal cells, and tried to tear them open, and
get at the queens to sting them to death.
But the guards near these cells drove her
away, and as she was very determined to get
at the cells they at last were quite fierce with
"Now," said Bee, "watch, Bee-bee, and you
will see a strange sight."
When the queen found they were getting
too strong for her, and were determined to
guard the other two queens, she suddenly left
off fighting and made a strange sound. In a
moment all the bees were as if turned to stone,
and could not touch her, but the moment she
left off this curious noise they were active
At last she made up her mind to fight no
more, but going to the entrance of the hive
she found a cluster of bees there, and away she
flew with them following her.
In another day the other two queens came
out, then they had a fight, and one being
stronger than the other killed her, and re-
mained queen of the hive. Then Bee told
Bee-bee, that if there had been a dozen more
THE BUSY HIVE. 89
cells with young queens in them, this queen
would have destroyed them all at once.
The fifth day after the queen had left her
cell, she went out of the hive, first examining
it well, then she flew away a short distance,
then came back to be sure she knew her way
home, then took a long flight. At last she
cane back amongst her subjects and never left
them any more.
The working bees were very busy preparing
cells for the eggs the queen would lay. These
wise little creatures built their comb in a most
First, the wax workers prepared the mass of
wax. Then some smaller bees formed the
Bee and Bee-bee were wax workers, and Bee
kept close to Bee-bee, so that if it was found
she was very weak, Bee could help her. Then
when the cells were ready, the queen laid a
great many eggs, and left off for a time.
Then in the spring there was a grand time.
She laid more than two thousand eggs. While
these eggs were being laid the workers began
to prepare the royal cells. This time they
made a good many more than before-eleven.
Well, all the bees were much excited over
building the royal cells, they had got half
through them, when a sad misfortune hap-
The queen died.
The bees gathered round her dead body, they
would not leave it, they mourned sadly.
Then they consulted what to do.
There was, they feared, no chance of eggs
ever being laid in the royal cells, so they went
to the cells where the first eggs were laid, and
fixed on two or three of the finest grubs that
had come out of the eggs; then they broke
down the walls' of the cells next them, and
built a round pipe of wax round the grubs,
and fed them with a different kind of food, so
that they turned out different kind of grubs to
their brothers who were out of their eggs at
A STRANGE QUEEN. 91
the same time. In three days they built
another little upright pipe that led out of the
other, and into this the little grub crept, and
at last came out, a Queen Bee!
Then the same thing happened as before.
Several more queens were hatched, and they
fought, and the strongest killed the others, and
Well, this hive was very unlucky with its
queens, for just as the bees were getting to
love her as much as the old one, some naughty
boy, only for fun, brought another queen, and
took the true one out of the hive.
There was a commotion! and all the bees
began to gather round the poor bewildered
"Oh, Bee, do go and help her, they will kill
her, they will kill her!" cried Bee-bee.
But Bee said sadly, "No, Bee-bee, we never
sting a queen; but-"
"Oh, Bee, what then are they going to do
with her? see! they keep closing round her, she
cannot escape. If they don't mean to sting
her, what will they do?'
"Don't ask me, Bee-bee, but you must know
in the end."
"What is it, Bee? How sad you look!
"What will they do to her? "
"Starve her to death," said Bee solemnly.
"Oh, no, no, Bee!" cried Bee-bee trembling;
"don't let them do such a wicked deed."
"I cannot interfere with the laws of the hive."
So the workers surrounded the poor queen
and starved her to death.
"This is the most cruel law we have," said
Bee-bee. If she had not been put in till to-
morrow afternoon they would have set her at
liberty and made her queen; if not till next
day we should have welcomed her as queen at
once. These are the laws we have made re-
specting the royal succession. I cannot give
you our reasons, Bee-bee."
In a few days a band appeared at the door of
the hive and a new Queen Bee entered. There
was a hum," Bless the queen! save the queen!"
and the bees hasted to do her homage.
"Oh, Bee! I don't think it's fair!" cried
Bee-bee, "to starve one poor thing to death
and make this fuss over another."
"Nothing earthly is perfect, my dear Bee-bee.
Even bees have their faults," said Bee gravely.
"There are mysteries even in their lives."
"DEAR ME!" said a little hen sparrow as she
perched on a tree, "whoever that man was who
put it in print that 'birds in their little nests
agree' could not have known anything of spar-
rows,-yet they say he was a Londoner too!
Whatever I am to do with my children I don't
know. To think that my five pretty smooth
eggs should have turned into five such little
"Something must really be done with Dick.
He' never is happy but wheh he is teasing and
tormenting his brothers and sisters. I believe
the rest would be good enough if that tiresome
Dick would let them.
94 THE PASSIONATE SPARROW.
"His temper gets worse and worse, and I
dread every time I go home to hear that he
has done some most fearful mischief. Darling
Birdie was as near as possible tumbling out of
the nest yesterday. Chirpy is naughty, she
does vex and tease him; but Birdie is so very
"I dread to go home with only a caterpillar.
If I could find a nice long worm they could all
get at. Well, I must go, I suppose, or they
will be fighting worse than ever if they get
cross; and poor worried Mrs. Sparrow pounced
on a caterpillar and flew to her nest in the
water-pipe of a nice old house.
Oh the noise and bad conduct "of those
greedy little things was something frightful!
They all pushed forward with their beaks open,
great eyes staring, trampling on and pushing
each other aside, moving backwards and for-
wards in a horrid manner.
Poor mother could not reprove them with her
mouth full of caterpillar.
Strong Dick got it; then there was a fight.
Their mother made them understand at last
that she had found a nest of green cater-
pillars, and that if they were quiet she would
POOR LITTLE BIRDIE. 95
bring them one by one, when there would be
plenty for all. "But mind," said she, "not one
of you shall touch a bit of the next one till
Birdie has had what she wants. She is so
timid she never gets her share; and if any of
you snatch at the next I will not bring you any
When mother was gone they began to tease
Birdie, and Dick gave her a peck, and Pecky
gave her a push, and Cocky said she was a
sneak, but Chirpy her twin, took her part.
All this made Birdie feel so low, that when the
mother came back she had no heart for the
caterpillar. Her mother saw at once they had
been teasing her, and scolded them well.
Then when she had gone, Dick called Birdie
a sneak once more.
Cocky liked to vex Dick sometimes, so he
said, "Birdie wasn't a sneak," and there was
a quarrel, and the screeching reached their
mother's ears, so that she came flying back, and,
seating herself in the midst of them, gave them
some good pecks right and left.
"Oh!" said she, "I wish your father would
come home. There he is working so hard for
you, so patiently trying to get a worm, he has
96 THE PASSIONATE SPARROW.
been watching his hole such a time, he must
be quite cramped, poor dear, and you all going
on in such an awful way-Oh dear, dear!"
^ ^^ ^.iL'"P Y.
By and by they all fell asleep, and soon the
father came home.
"No use looking any more to-night, dear,"
said he, I must be up the first thing in the
morning; I must go out directly after morning
songs. So! the little rogues are all asleep,"
and he looked at them with such pride. He
was a worthy little father, and as he was out