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IN the huge hollow of an old oak tree a
squirrel had her nest. In due time she had
three young ones, whose names were Leu-
kourias, Lampromath, and the youngest, a
most beautiful and very good little creature,
was called Calleth. Leukourias was a very
handsome squirrel, with a bushy tail all
white, and his body the colour of the beech-
tree leaves in early autumn. He was very
brave and active, but rather inclined to be
vain of himself, while Lampromath was very
gentle and timid, and easily led by others.
One day their mamma sent them out to
play, and they were jumping about, chasing
each other from bough to bough, when Leu-
kourias said, "Well, I really think I could
get up to the top of this tree."
"Oh, Lik"-as his brothers sometimes
called him for short-"you know we have
never been so far from home. I don't think
mamma would like it."
"But mamma never told us not to, you
know, Cal," was his reply.
"No; but I think we had better not to-
day; and then, you know, we can ask
mamma next time."
"Nonsense, Cal," said Lik, "I shall go.
Will you come,, Lap?"
"I don't know," said Lampromath. I
should like to very much."
Oh! dear Lap," said Calleth, you won't
go, I am sure."
"Very well, then, I'm off," said Lik;
and off he was; and, being a very active
squirrel, he soon reached the top; and after
resting there a little while, he thought he
might as well descend. As he was coming
down, in very high spirits, he met Ivrount,
the aged rook, who was the head of the
great rookery, and reputed to have lived
one hundred and fifty years.
She addressed him. Good-morning, Leu-
kourias. You are far from home."
"Yes, madam. I have been to the tree-
top all alone."
"Let me give you one piece of advice,
then, Leukourias," replied she. Take care
how you go so far alone, for your family
has many enemies; and, above all, my dear
friend, honour your mother with all your
Leukourias hardly stayed till the last
words, when, making a kind of bow, he
was off. He soon rejoined his brothers, and
they went home.
-But Queen Ivrount was not the only one
who had seen Lik. The old magpie, Mrs.
Naquir, besides being intensely fond of mis-
chief, hated the whole family, because Lik's
papa had once told her he thought she would
do well if she did not indulge in so much
So Mrs. Naquir thought she might be
revenged, and she went and told Mr. Lop-
kins, the fox, that one of the young squirrels
had already learnt to go out without leave,
and she did not doubt that if he took a
little pains, he might entice him within his
Mr. Lopkins thanked Mrs. Naquir for
her kindness, and next day, when the young
squirrels were out, he appeared at the foot
of the tree, and, addressing Leukourias, told
him he was delighted to see how active and
clever he was getting, and that if he would
do his cousin the favour of walking with him,
he would show him a still higher tree at no
great distance. Lik said he was very much
obliged to him; but he hesitated, for they
had been positively forbidden ever to go
down from the tree, or to speak to any
beast. Calleth proposed that they should go
and ask mamma, to which, of course, Mr.
Lopkins was very averse; and he said that
he knew their mamma was out, and that he
was their cousin, and he was sure she would
not mind their walking with him.
Here little Lap, feeling frightened, he
knew not why, withdrew a little further,
and Lik seemed to get bold in proportion,
and was evidently wavering, when a voice
was heard calling Leukourias. Calleth and
Lampromath both exclaimed joyfully, "Oh !
that's mamma," and off they skipped. Leu-
THE SQUIRRELS. 7
kourias followed, but with evident reluct-
Mr. Lopkins went away muttering to
himself, "You have escaped me this time,
but I will have you yet."
And in the course of that very afternoon,
he bribed Mrs. Naquir to entice Lik to jump
across. I," says he, "will lie in wait
every evening an hour before dusk, and if
you can persuade that conceited coxcomb
that he can jump into yon tree, I will
seize him as he falls, which he must do,
and I will give you the breast of a fine fat
hen the very next day."
Meanwhile, the mamma said to her three
little ones, Whom were you talking to just
Lik remained silent, but Lap said, "Oh!
mamma, we saw a gentleman down below,
who said he was our cousin."
"Yes, and he wanted us to take a walk
with him," put in Calleth.
"What was he like ?"
"Oh! mamma," said Calleth, "he was
something like me, only rather larger. His
tail was very much like mine, only he did
not cock it up, but stuck it out."
"And, mamma," said Lampromath, "I am
sure he was not a good gentleman, for he
had such ugly green eyes.",
I think you're right there, my darling,
for he is a fox, the worst enemy of creatures
like us; but you must not judge people in
that way. And, oh! my children, go not
near the ground, nor far from the nest."
They promised to obey, and Lik made
plenty of good resolutions, and kept them for
some time, but as he had not taken the only
right step of confessing his disobedience, how
could he hope to keep his resolutions ?
A few days after this, as they were playing
about, not very far from home, they saw Mrs.
Naquir coming. Calleth, (from the intuitive
perception of what is evil which the right-
minded seem peculiarly to possess) felt a
dread of her, and whispered to Lik, See,
Lik, here comes Mrs. Naquir. Let's get out
of the way."
Why should we?" said Lik, pettishly.
"I like Mrs. Naquir very much."
But I don't think mamma would like us
Nonsense Mamma knows Mrs. Naquir
very well, and she never told us not to talk
By this time Mrs. Naquir had come up, so
they could say no more; and they all stayed;
Cal, because he did not like to leave his
brother, and Lap, partly from the same
reason, and partly out of curiosity, for Mrs.
Naquir was a great gossip. After some talk
about different things, Mrs. Naquir said,
"By the way, Leukourias, have you ever
been out of this tree ?"
"No, madam, never. I do so long to go.
Papa said he would take us some day and
show us a place a hundred times larger than
this tree, where he says a kind of animal lives
ever so many times as big as us," said Lap,
" and I should like to go very much."
"I," said Mrs. Naquir, "have been nearly
over the world, and, I assure you, it is very
delightful and instructive; but, if you want
to see that place, you can see it very well
from the top of the tree opposite."
How nice," said Lik; but we must not
go on the ground by ourselves."
Oh, but such an active fellow as you are
might easily leap across to that bough close
by; and then you can climb up quite easily."
"Oh," said Lik, "I had never thought of
that. I am sure I could do it."
"Oh! pray don't, Lik," said Cal. "I am
sure mamma would not like it."
"Nonsense, Cal. I am older than you,
and I know quite well what mamma would
So saying, he made a sudden spring and
reached the elm-tree, to the great surprise of
all. Mrs. Naquir, though deeply vexed, ex-
pressed great delight, and Lap cheered, but
Cal was too astonished at his daring to leave
the tree to say anything.
They watched him in silence climbing up,
his white tail now and then appearing through
the leaves, marking his progress. At last
Cal said they had better go home, and Lap,
They found their mamma just going out to
collect acorns, and Cal, half crying, said,
"Oh! mamma, do you know Lik is gone to
the great tree out there. Mrs. Naquir per-
suaded him to go."
How did he get there? said she, rather
Oh! mamma, he jumped-he just did it."
"Lap, you stop here, and you Cal come
and show me the place."
So they went. When they reached the
place where Lik had left them, they did not
see him, for it was now dusk, but his mamma
saw the twinkling green eyes of Mr. Lop-
kins, from the hole where he lay concealed,
and knew what he was after. "When did
you last see your brother? "
Oh mamma, he had just got to that tall
bough there when we left. Mrs. Naquir told
us we could see the great place from the
"Well, I must go across to him. Tell
papa I hope to return soon." So saying she
too took the leap. She was not strong,
but strong above all on this earth is the
power of mother-love, and with that she got
safe across, and sat to wait and watch and
listen for her child, for it was too dark to fol-
low him. Patiently she waited, now and then
turning to look at the green eyes which
glared unmoving in the increasing darkness.
At last, she heard a rustling above her, and
she knew it was he, her child. But far other
was the result to what she looked for.
Leukourias had strained his paw in his
leap across, but had hardly felt it in his
eagerness; and the wearying ascent had in-
creased it very much. He reached the top,
and rested there awhile, and then fear of
the dark, and the memory of his mamma
looking out for him, as he thought, at
home, came on him most sadly. The descent
was painful and very slow, for he was nearly
worn out. At last, just as he was reaching
the spot where his mamma waited for him in
anxious hope, his foot slipped and down he
fell to the ground. Immediately the green
eyes glared more fiercely, and, with a look of
savage triumph, the fox darted forth to
seize poor Leukourias, but his mamma, too,
saw. Quick as lightniiig, with one bound,
she reached the spot where her darling lay.
She snatched him in her mouth. She rushed
up the tree with all the strength and speed
of love and fear together.
The disappointed fox turned in baffled rage
to his hiding-place. But Leukourias had
broken his leg in his fall, having fallen on a
projecting root, and so all that night he lay
moaning with pain, in an uncomfortable bed,
far from home, and his mamma watched by
him in sorrow and deep thankfulness, and,
now and then, she licked the broken limb.
At last dawn came, and with it sweet sleep
to poor Lik; and, when he awoke, his mamma
took him in her mouth again and ran across
to their home, and there they nursed him.
He got well again in about a week, but could
not jump about any more, but still and quiet
he lay, and his brothers used to go out and
bring him the finest acorns and beech-nuts
they could find; and, he, poor Leukourias,
patiently and humbly bore his life-long lame-
ness; and afterwards, when his brothers had
families of their own, he lived with them, and
told their little children how he had been
preserved through his waywardness; and do
not you think he gave such praise as beasts
can give to Him Who had preserved him, and
had given him such love?
"For faith is a buckler, and, so to speak, expands the
mind for the reception of the Divine light."-S. CYRIL.
Pledged beneath the banner
Of the Cross to fight,
Ere the strife beginneth,
Learn where lies thy might.
'Tis no bloodless warfare,
'Tis no painless strife;
Foes thou hast, assailing
More than mortal life.
Many a bitter arrow,
Fierce envenomed dart,
Thou must meet unyielding:
What shall guard thy heart?
What shall be the buckler,
Back the dart to throw,
Quench the burning arrow,
Take unharmed the blow?
Faith alone can shield thee,
Faith alone hath might
Thus to blunt each arrow-
Guard thee in the fight.
THE SQUIRRELS. 15
Closely, closely to thee
Bind the holy shield;
Then, in sternest warfare,
Thou shalt never yield.
O'er thy pathway lowering,
Dark the clouds may be:
Faith, a shield bright shining,
Shall be light to thee.
Dark is earthly wisdom,
Dim its brightest shine:
Faith thine heart unfoldeth
To the light Divine.
Dark the field of battle,
Where the strife may be:
Faith thine eyes shall open,
Heavenly light to thee.
Fear not then, O warrior,
In life's battle field.
Hold but ever closer
Faith, the stainless shield.