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4/f Introduction How horrid Let us skip it !"
Oho That's what you are thinking, I am sure. I suppose you
would like to hear all about the monkeys, and the tigers, and the
ducks, first, and then read the Introduction afterwards; but that is
not the way we do things in our barn No doubt introductions are dull some-
times, but then they are not always written by owls; and you know the
proverb that if you want a thing well done you must get an owl to do it.
It is a very favourite proverb with us, and very true too.
I suppose it is because I am so very wise, even for an owl, that my
friends Mrs. Mouser and Mr. G. Gee, with his son Master A. Colt, to say
nothing of the very promising young author Mr. Farmyard Quackling, came
to me in a kind of deputation the other day, and asked me to edit the new
book which they had written for the children.
"Poor things !" said Mr. Quackling, who made a neat little speech on
this occasion, "I think we should all pity them instead of being angry.
Children really know so very little about us; and perhaps it is partly our
fault for not telling them more. So we have each written out some of our
experiences; and if your Owlship will be so good as to write a little
introduction, we will have them made up into a book for the children to read."
Mrs. Mouser purred her approval, and although Mr. G. Gee and his son
both said "Neigh !" we all understood it was only their way of saying "Yes!"
Of course, I consented ; but I must confess that it was very inconvenient,
for I was just in the midst of writing my beautiful poem, Night Thoughts :
in 24 Volumes ; to say nothing of the popular handbook, Hlow to Catch Mice,
and The Owlets' Entertaining Reader. But I have always been very much
interested in children; and, indeed, have written quite a number of articles
about them and their funny ways in the Fur and Feathers Gazette,; so that
I was quite willing to spare a week or so in helping Mrs. Mouser and my
other friends over their difficulty.
I really believe with Mr. Quackling, that children are not half so bad as
they seem. They are not good at thinking-that's how it is; and that's the
great difference between them and owls. Owls have always been very strong
thinkers. For instance, no owl would ever dream of throwing stones at frogs,
or brushing Mrs. Mouser's coat the wrong way, or chasing Mrs. Speckledy
round the farmyard. It is too absurd !-though I have heard of little boys
doing all these ridiculous things; and some children, I believe, have even been
disrespectful to owls. But this is almost too sad to think about, and I prefer
to look on the cheerful side of things. Indeed, what can one expect from
creatures who go to bed at night and get up in the day?
We all feel that boys and girls, however misguided, have very good
points, and might become quite reasonable beings, like ourselves, -if they-
could be got to see things in the right light-that is, of course, in the
twilight. For instance, I once met a little girl who was quite miserable
because she could not look as wise as we do. I gave her a little good
advice, and my young friend, Mr. Quackling, sent a short poem on the subject
to the papers. It was like this, as far as I can remember:
"I want to look wise," said Maud, one day,
I want to look clever and wise."
Oho!" said the Owl, as he sat on a spray,
And blinked as in solemn surprise;
You had better by far remain as you are,
And learn to be clever and wise."
Of course, it is no use for little boys and girls to try to be owls. It is
just a waste of time. They can't do it. But they might become quite useful
members of society, if they would only study our ways
and our manners a little more. Now, Mrs. Mouser
told me only the other day, that she once had to leave
a family quite suddenly, indeed without notice, owing
to their want of consideration. They actually expected
her to eat her breakfast in the back kitchen Can
.' you imagine an owl behaving in this way?
I am sure the children do not mean to be
unkind. It is all due to thoughtlessness, and I trust
this little book may teach them that all animals,
whether in feathers or fur, on four feet or two, have
& feelings and affections to be considered. / 5
a a' II S- I 1 i
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U(t -i-O what's this?" cried e priet the proprietor of the menagerie, in
amazement. "I only bought one animal, and they have sent
m And that was a fact. Mr. Smith, the owner of a wild-beast
show, had purchased a very fine Bengal tiger, called "Crunch." And Crunch
had arrived that morning by train in a cage that was boarded up on all sides.
He had not been many minutes in the menagerie before Mr. Smith, eager to
see the new arrival, had the boards taken down, and then beheld Crunch
looking exceedingly handsome, and none the worse for his very long journey
by sea and rail--he had come all the way from India.
But what was the second animal, whose presence caused the proprietor to
exclaim in wonder, as he had done ?
I'm quite certain I should have been just as surprised as suisesMr. Smith, and I
think that you, dear, would have been so, too, and would have clapped your
little hands with delight, for just in front of the tiger there sat, washing his
face with his little paws, a tiny, wee, brown mouse.
Mr. Smith laughed, and his attendants laughed, and so startled the little
mouse, that he ran to the tiger, and, nestling between the big paws, peeped
out and blinked his bright eyes, as much as to say, "You can't touch me
now." Indeed, it would have been a bold man, or a very brave pussy-cat
that would have gone near the little brown mouse then. But Mr. Smith had
no wish to hurt the tiger's tiny friend. On the contrary, he threw him a
biscuit, which the little mouse looked at with its head on one side, but was
too timid to touch at the time. He thought he had better wait till night-
time, when the place would be more quiet.
In the- evening, when the entertainment began, numbers of people came
to the menagerie, and the greatest crowd was round Crunch's cage. Everybody
admired the beautiful tiger.
But it was when all the people had left, and most of the lights had
been put out, that the real fun began. I mean the fun for the animals.
For, just the same as your dollies, Jack-in-the-boxes, and tin-soldiers, go to
balls, and have grand battles, and enjoy themselves, when you are fast asleep
and tucked up in your little beds, so did the animals discuss the events of the
day-what the people were like who had come to see them, and what was
likely to happen on the morrow.
"That was a clever little boy who came here to-day," said the Elephant.
"He told his mother I must have 'awful bad toothache,' because my teeth
are so long !-but what makes you look so sad, Mr. Bruin?"
"Ah, Jumbo," said the Bear, "that little boy's mother had on a fur
tippet that I feel certain was made out of the skin of my long-lost brother.
I recognized the curls and the particular gloss."
"Listen to me," roared the Lion, as if there was any necessity for him
to say that, for nobody could help listening to him when he made that noise.
"Listen to me. I am the King here, and- "
"He, he, he," laughed the Monkeys, "what's the use of being a king
when you are shut up in a cage ? He, he, he."
King Lion said nothing to the monkeys, he only looked at them. But
such a look, it was as much as to say: "If I could only get at you, my fine
fellows, I would gobble you up before you could say 'Jack Robinson.'" But
the Lion could not get at them, so he might look fiercely all day long,
and all night too, for all the monkeys cared.
"Listen to me," roared the King again, "I am your ruler, and--"
But he was again interrupted, which was very annoying, and really not
quite loyal on the part of the elephant. But Mr. Jumbo, as a sudden idea
struck him, got very much excited, very much excited indeed.
"I say, I say, I say," he trumpeted, "Mr. Tiger, you come from India,
and so do I. How are the jungles, and is the sky as blue, and the sun as
hot as ever ?"
Crunch replied that it was a long time since he had seen the jungle, but
that the sky was as blue, and the sun as hot as ever it was.
"Aha," sighed Jumbo, as a big tear rolled from his little eye. Seeing a
tiger had called up memories
of the days when he was ,
young and free, and he felt "
quite sad for a moment or '
"You don't know any-
thing about the grandest /
country in the world ?" asked
the Chamois. "Switzerland, I
mean, with its high moun- /
tains, and deep precipices, /
and crisp white snow."
"Snow !" cried the
"Snow If you want to see
hundreds and hundreds of
miles of it you must go to
my country, which is by
far the grandest in the world,
of course I mean Lapland.
Do you know anything of
ice and snow, Mr. Tiger ?"
No, Crunch knew
nothing of mountains, and
had never seen snow or ice.
All this time the Lion had been walking up and down his cage, roaring
himself quite hoarse. He was in a towering rage at being so often inter-
rupted. "Will you all attend to me?" cried the King once more. "It is the
custom for every new animal coming here to tell us the story of his life, where
he came from, and how he was caught; so I now call upon our friend, Mr.
Crunch, to tell us his history."
"A story. A story. Hurrah! A story!" cried all the animals. "Come,
Mr. Crunch, tell us all about yourself." But Crunch being quite tired out
with his long journey begged them to excuse him. "No,, no, no," they all
shrieked and roared again. "A story. Your story, Mr. Crunch, if you please."
"Tell them my story, dear Mee-Mee," whispered the tiger to the little
brown mouse, "I'm so sleepy that I
can hardly keep ..' my eyes open."
Mee-Mee said he would attend
to the other animals. ..- And then, running
up the bars of the .cage, he called out
in his shrillest, squeakiest voice:
"Hi Your Majesty, my lords,
ladies, and gentle- men, Mr. Crunch is
really too tired to speak to-night, but,
if you will allow i me, who know his
story just as well as he does, to tell
it to you, I shall be delighted, for
I am not tired, and feel as ilvely as
a---as a- \ "Kitten," suggested
the small monkey. ,-.. Kitten, kitten
cried the Mouse, ,,turning pale, "If
such a word is mentioned again I
am sure I. shall he \ quite dumb."
"Pray do not pay any attention to that monkey," said the Lion.. "We
shall, be very happy to hear what you have to tell us."
"Thank you, sire," said Mee-Mee. First of all I must tell you about
myself, and how I became acquainted with Mr. Crunch. I met him on board
ship as he was coming over, for it happened that I was born on the ship,
and have lived at sea all my life. Crunch and I became such very good
friends during the voyage, that when he was coming on shore I hadn't the
heart to say good-bye, so popped into his cage and hid myself, and
here I am. Of course, having travelled about a good deal, I have seen many
strange things. But one of the strangest stories I ever heard is connected with
my dear friend Crunch. He told it to me the first evening I visited him, and
this is it:-
"Once upon a time, far away in the Province of Bengal, in India, there
lived, in a very pretty bungalow, an officer, his wife, and their little daughter
Ella. Now Ella was a darling; everybody said so. Her father called her his
dearest little poppet. Her mother said her little rogue was her sweetest blessing,
and the Ayah said she was more lovely than any Rajah's daughter.
"Little Ella had presents sent her from everyone on the station. Such
dollies Such carts and horses But one of the strangest presents that Ella
ever received was from one of the Indian princes. It was a little baby tiger.
"The baby tiger had been caught in the jungle not very far from where
Ella lived, and, although it was rather savage at first, it very soon got
tame ; and Ella was allowed to play with it. In fact, Ella and Crunch, for
that was the little tiger's name, soon became fast friends.
"Well, one day there was a terrible noise in the bungalow. There was
a commotion. Ella's papa and mamma were tearing about giving orders to
the servants, while the Ayah was sitting on the ground rocking herself from
side to side, and crying out words that nobody could be expected to understand.
"The fact was that Crunch was gone; but worse, far worse, Ella, the
darling, was gone also.
Yes, Ella was gone You can well imagine how distracted her poor
father and mother were. The whole place was turned topsy-turvy, inside out,
and upside down. They shouted and shouted, again and again, but no reply
came from Baby Ella. They searched every corner of the bungalow and
every part of the compound, but there was no Ella. Then Ella's papa and
every man in the village wert and searched the forests and the jungle,
because they thought that, as the baby tiger had gone, it was more than
[ 10 ]
likely that the baby girl had gone with him. For hours and hours they
looked for her, all through the day and burning heat-now cutting their way
through the tall bamboos, and now creeping into caverns. But, no, there was
no Ella. At last, as night came on, and they were about to return home in
despair, they found her, far away in a cave in the forest, fast asleep with
her head nestling on Crunch's soft body. They picked her up and carried
her home, leaving Crunch behind, because they thought that he was rather
a dangerous playmate for the little girl. But, would you believe it ?-the
very next morning Crunch came back to the bungalow, and, although
everybody howled at him, and said he was a bad young tiger, nothing could
induce him to go away. So they built him a comfortable cage, and there
Crunch lived a very happy life, and grew up to be the beautiful tiger you
"Little Ella is now grown up, and has come to England, and is never
going back to India, and, as a tiger is not a very comfortable animal to keep
in a house, they have sent Crunch here, and I expect that before many days
are over Ella will come to see her old pet. And now, your Majesty, my
lords, ladies and gentlemen, as the dustman is coming, I will wish you a very
good night, and to-morrow, if you will let me, I will come and see you every
one, and tell you more stories about the many wonderful things I have seen."
So saying, Mee-Mee ran off to Crunch, and was soon fast asleep, cuddled
up between the big paws.
The next day, true to his promise, the little brown mouse called on every
animal, beginning at the Lion and ending up with the small monkey. And
although he is the tiniest animal in the whole show, he is certainly the most
loved, for he always has a good story and kind word for everyone.
7HE DISOBEDINT CHICKEN.
E IGHT babies Eight little yellow chicks to look after Eight young
children to be instructed in polite manners and the very best of
morals Certainly, Mrs. Hen had her wings full.
The little chickens were hatched one sunny morning; and no
sooner had they popped out of their shells and got over their astonishment,
than they began to scratch for worms, and tumble over one another in their
eagerness to catch the passing flies and gnats.
Hoity-toity this sort of thing won't do," cried Mrs. Hen. My dears,
you mustn't be greedy. Come here, and listen to me while I give you your
Now, as a rule, the finding of a name for one baby gives a great deal
of trouble; so we can easily imagine how worried poor Mrs. Hen and her
husband were before they settled what they should call their eight children.
But it was finally agreed that the names should be: Snap, Peep, Scrap, Tweet,
Snip, Puff, Pop, Scruff; and very good names, too, I think. But, at any
rate, the chicks thought so (which is far more important), and were immensely
proud of themselves as they went to walk with their father and mother, and
were introduced to the other animals in the farm-yard.
Certainly, the chicks, with one exception, were a v.
credit to their parents, and I am sorry to say that Scrap
was that exception. Although the smallest chick in' the
whole brood, he had more naughtiness in his little body
than all the rest of his brothers and sisters put together.
* While Mrs. Hen's other children paid the greatest attention
to their lessons every morning, Scrap's mind was filled
with thoughts of flies and worms, and he was always
wishing it was dinner-time. Scrap, I'm grieved to say,--
L 12 J
was a greedy chicken. Then he caused his family terrible anxiety by being too
friendly with the young ducks. Now, young ducks, in their own way, are just as
nice as young chickens ; but their way led them to the pond, for they delighted
in water, and could swim perfectly. But Scrap could not swim; and so his
father and mother, and brothers and sisters, were afraid that if he continued
to associate with the ducklings, he might venture one day into the water and
be drowned. And it so happened that Scrap's greediness did lead him into
terrible trouble. One afternoon he met the ducks coming away from the pond;
they were talking about the happy day they had spent, and how far more pleasant
it was, and what a lot more there was to eat on the other side of the
water. Scrap said nothing, but listened very eagerly; and that night, before
he went to sleep under his mother's wing, he made up his mind that on the
morrow he would, by hook or by crook, reach the other side of the pond.
The next day Scrap was awake betimes, and as soon as he saw a good
opportunity, this naughty chick stole away from his family, and ran as fast
as his little legs could carry him to the water's side. But there -he came to
a standstill, just as you would have done if you had run away from home
and had come to the wide sea, and were thinking about swimming across it.
Scrap put one foot into the water, and drew it out again very quickly-he
thought it very cold and uncomfortable. He would not have ventured in the
water then for all the dinners in the world. But still he could just see the
little ducks in the distance swimming gaily over to the other side: .it was
really very tantalizing. Scrap thought ,for a moment, and then determined that,
as he could not cross the pond, he would go round it.
Poor Scrap he did not know what a terrible undertaking this was for so
small a body.
At first, his journey was easy enough, for it lay through short, sweet
grass, but soon he had to encounter thistles, nettles, and thick brambles.
With great difficulty he pushed himself through these, having to rest every
minute. And he very soon got so tired, and scratched, and wet with the
dew, that he made up his mind to return to his mother. But, all of a sudden,
he heard a rustling, and, to his horror, he saw a big rat. Now, for a chicken
to meet a rat, is just as bad as if you were to meet a lion. Poor Scrap lay
quite still, trembling all over, and, oh, how thankful he was that the rat didn't
see him as it passed along. Then, up he jumped and ran off-in his fright
he did not know where. On he went, tumbling over sticks, and tumbling into
ditches, until he was in a terrible plight, and had lost his way.
You can fancy how anxious his father and mother, his brothers and sisters,
were about him all this time. They hunted high and low, and searched
S, '. r
the farm-yard, the kitchen-
garden, and even the flower-
beds, but he was nowhere to be found.
No one had seen or heard anything of him. //
It was dusk, and night was fast approaching. Mrs. Hen was sadly putting
the remaining children to sleep, when a small black object was seen to limp
towards the fowl-house.
"Tweet! tweet!" it' cried faintly as it came near, and then threw itself
beneath Mrs. Hen's wing.
Dear me It was poor Scrap, but oh how changed-black with mud, and
with hardly a bit of fluff remaining on his little body. You can imagine how
glad Mrs. Hen was to get him back again, and the fluff soon grew, but I am
glad to say that Scrap was a much better chick afterwards, for whenever he
felt inclined to be disobedient he always remembered the big black rat.
He never stays away now from the crowing -class which his father holds
every day, and although he was very backward at first, I am sure he will soon
make up for lost time, for his father is very indulgent.
Listen to what he and his brothers are saying now:
"Is it hard to do, papa? Is it hard to do?
XWe would like to crow like that, and be as big as you,
But you are old and fatherly, and we are young and new "
"Silence, children' while I speak, now, Cock-a-doodle-doo !
Now, my children, run and scratch, I am coming too,
Mother let you out to play, she'll her kindness rue,
If you don't obey papa, as all good chickens true,
Well to please you, once again, Cock-a-doodle-doo."
A" --.-.-=.,'..- '
..... ense," ..si d n o h Sheep, was munch .. -. a ,h
'% ,.M ,- ,
THE )DEER ^N THE SHEEP.
w arT is so cold," said the poor little Deer, "and the snow is over
J everything, and frozen so hard that we can't even scrape it away
to get a bite at the grass. Do let us have a bit of your hay ?"
"Nonsense," said one of the Sheep, who was munching away ab t the
fodder put out for them by the shepherd. "Why should you useless
creatures eat our hay ?"
"Useless!" cried the Deer. "We are as useful as you are!"
"No, you are not !" grumbled the Sheep. "We grow wool to make
warm coats for little boys and girls. Don't you know what they say to us o
Baa, baa, Black Sheep, have you any wool ?' anan we answer, 'Yes, kind
Master, three bags full.' But you-what do you do? Just run about among
the fern in the park, with your dappled coats of which you are so proud,
and do nothing. People l you pretty, but I don't see it-poor, skinny,
long-legged creatures, think :" and Master Sheep glanced at his own round,
fat person, and short, stumpy legs, with admiration.
"Well, it seems rather hard," said the Deer, sadly. "I would grow wool
if I knew how, but I don't."
He was turning away, to go and seek some scraps of moss or grass to
keep himself from starving, when another sheep, who had not yet spoken,
called out to him to stop.
"Come and eat what you like," he said. "I daresay you are as useful
as others, if people knew all. Master has put this food here for all his
creatures, and you belong to him, and have as much right to it as we have.
Besides, I am not sure if it isn't rather worse to be selfish and disagreeable
than not to grow wool-especially if you don't know how to do it."
M. A. Hoyer.
calledout t him --PINp
"C m n etwa yulk,"h ad aeayyuaj sueu
to ge a bte a thegras. Dolet u hav a bt ofyourhay?
OH / OH // OH ///
N T UEER,, no never, was there such a hubbub and a row! The donkey was
y b braying, the geese cackling, cows mooing, horses neighing, piglings
squeaking, dogs barking, and pussy snarling. In fact every animal on
the farm was making just as much noise as it possibly could.
But why ? That's what we want to know.
Well, the END OF THE WORLD HAD COME; and quite suddenly, too,
without one word of warning. So you see the animals had an excuse for
making a noise, and most certainly took advantage of the occasion.
The end of the world had come, so the donkey said, and said it again
and again. Oh dear, oh dear What shall we do ?" he brayed, putting his
head out of his stable door and addressing the geese: "The hill behind the
farm has turned over, and is rolling down the field. Let me out. What
shall we do ?" He was a donkey.
Away ran the geese, tumbling over one another in their hurry and
excitement. Gabble, gabble. Cackle, cackle.
"Tweet, tweet, don't leave us behind, our legs are not ':
so long as yours," cried the goslings, trying hard to keep i
up with their father and mother. i
"My whiskers cried the cat, who was sitting on a I.
gate post, My whiskers, what's the matter?" ? .
"Matter enough for one day," hissed the gander. "The
end of the world has come. The i J
mountains have tumbled out of 7 -.-----
the moon and are rolling down I
the hill at the back of the farm." .'-' y .
"I-ow very awkward," said, '" i I
puss, as she jumped off the post '
and scampered away across the '
field, in a terrible fright. .. _
"What on earth has hap- -,
opened asked the cow, as the
cat came hurrying by.
"Happened indeed! The -
end of the world has come. The
[ 16 ]
moon and the stars-including the great and little Dears-have tumbled down.
And- But the cow didn't wait to hear any more. She whisked round
and galloped across the field to the gate.
"Open the gate. Let me out," she cried. "The end of the world has
come. The moon has tumbled down and is rolling about the earth like a big
Dutch cheese ; and the Milky Whey has also fallen and will drown'us; and
the Great Bear is sliding down the North Pole. Let me out, or I shall go mad."
The sheep heard the cow and rushed off to tell the horses the alarming
news, and the horses told the dogs, and, as I said at the commencement,
never, no never, was there such a hubbub and a row.
"My dear girl," said Mr. Cock-Robin, to little Jenny Wren, "if you go
on laughing like that, you will have a fit, or go into hysterics, or do some-
thing equally ridiculous. Pray try and be calm."
"I-I really can't help it," gasped Jenny, who was really quite faint from
laughing. To think that all this excitement should have been caused by old
Mrs. Brown's umbrella being blown out of her hand, and being sent bowling
along after the little pigs. They are young and don't know any better, so I
daresay they thought that the end of the world really had come. But to
think that the other animals should have believed them when they came
scampering and squeaking into the yard! -It's really too much, it is indeed."
It was certainly very nearly too much for little Jenny Wren, for she
laughed till she choked and turned black in the face, and Mr. Cock-Robin
had to fan her with his wing to bring her round again.
. THE END
i *. .. .- ...* ,-- ', ... .- .- .
"D ," *,'* 1"- ^ *'- "
*& ~ **.. ..- ':
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... ..H_' ._J __VO 'L _-t. -
_!&? JW iU Vlouies
P I J(oC8 was a dear; there was no question about that, everybody
liked him. Prince was a pony. And such a pony! So sleek and
white; and there was no more vice in his nature than there was a
black hair on his body. He had been born at a farm, and his father's
name being King and his mother's Queenie, it was only natural that their little
son should be called Prince.
The first thing that Prince had to do, as soon as he was old enough to
earn his own living-and horses, like men, have to do that-was to carry the
farmer's children about on his back. This, of course, was delightful work,
and the little pony understood his duties perfectly. With the two-year-old
baby he used to walk, with Cissy, a little girl of seven, he used to trot,
while with Tom, a sturdy boy of ten, he would canter, and gallop, and frisk
about as lively as a puppy.
Certainly this life was a pleasant one, but it was not to last. For one
fine morning the animals were surprised to hear that the farm and every
thing upon it was sold, Prince included. This was a great shock to the
nerves. And the animals began wondering what would happen to them.
But that matter -was soon settled. The cart-horses, the cows, the pigs, the
sheep, and the poultry were to go to an adjacent farm. But not so Prince.
No, a very different life was in store for our little pony.
Prince's heart beat hard when he heard what his future was to be ; he
didn't quite know whether to be pleased or sorry. Certainly it would be an
interesting life, but the question was, would it be a happy one ? It would
all depend upon whether his master happened to be a kind one, for Prince
was going to be a CIRCUS PONY.
[ 18 ]
A circus pony We all know what a pleasure it is going to a circus
when it comes to the town we are living in. But fancy being on intimate
terms with the tame bear that rides on its hind legs upon the back of
Black Bess Fancy having one's breakfast with the elephant that sits on
a chair, drinks wine out of a tumbler, and plays pranks with the clown !
Fancy counting amongst one's friends the accomplished horses that can dance
a quadrille, a waltz, or galop !
Prince, who had heard all about these things from the children, thought
about them all day, and dreamt about them all night, until the time came
for him to leave the farm.
The parting from the children and his friends the animals, for Prince
was friends with them all, was indeed sad. But the pony was pleased
when the little girls and the little boy said they would come and see him
when he was at the circus, and was very much pleased indeed to find that
the proprietor of the circus, who had come to fetch him away, was a kind
man. Prince knew at once that he was so by the way he stroked his neck
and spoke to him. And Prir:ce was still more pleased with the proprietor's
ten-year-old little daughter Dolly, who had come with her father and was
to be his mistress. She was such a pretty little thing, and the pony felt
sure that he would love her very much.
Well, Prince left the farm and became a circus pony, and liked his
new life even better than that which he had been used to. He soon learnt his
tricks, which were to bow to the audience with Dolly upon his back, to
balance himself upon a plank, and do see-saw with another pony at the
other end. And so a whole year passed by.
Now Dolly's new pony, besides being Prince by name, turned out to be
a Prince by nature-a perfect hero, and a very intelligent little creature
in more ways than performing tricks, as he showed himself to be one day,
when something happened which was very wonderful and at the same time
very terrible. So terrible that when it occurred the proprietor of the circus
staggered and became as white as Prince's white coat, and even the performing
monkeys stopped their chattering for once in their lives, and the Iind-hearted
elephant turned quite faint.
One Spring day the circus arrived at a country town, and as a matter of
course every child who was old enough turned out to welcome it, to stare
with delight at the beautiful horses, to clap their hands at the elephant, to
wonder what the many large waggons contained, and to admire the little girl
riding the pretty pony.
The next morning, as soon as the large tent was up, the girls who jump
[ 19 1
through the hoops, the clown, the bears, the elephants and the horses had to
go through a rehearsal of the performance to take place in the evening, but
this was unnecessary for Dolly and Prince, since they knew their parts perfectly
"Prince, dear," said Dolly, strAking the pony's neck, "what say you to
a trot through the lanes, and a gallop over the fields, this lovely, lovely
Prince shook his head and neighed as much as to say he would be
"Very well, dear," said the little girl, who understood every word the
Pony didn't say.
"Very well, dear, I will go and ask Papa if we may go, and here is
an apple to amuse yourself with while I'm gone."
Besides the apple, Dolly gave Prince a kiss on the tip of his nose, and
then went to get her father's consent to ride in the country.
Of course her father said, "Yes, my darling." Perhaps he was often
too willing to say Yes to whatever request the little girl made.
Perhaps at first he blamed himself for allowing so young a child to ride
about the country alone, but up to the present no harm had come to
her. She rode perfectly, and Prince was so trustworthy.
~" ~ ,I
Her father himself helped Dolly into the saddle, and giving her a tender
kiss, bade Prince be careful of his young mistress. He looked after
her with loving eyes, for she was his only child, and such a winsome
The pony trotted gaily- through the town, stopping now and again for
Dolly to give tickets of admission to the circus to some of the poorest
children-little things who would remember the flaring naphtha-lamps, the
tinsel-jewelry, the horses, and clown, for many a long day; and never
forget the bright-eyed little girl who gave them the opportunity of seeing
those grand things. So out of the town into the country went Dolly and
Prince as happy as the singing birds this bright Spring morning.
In the meantime the rehearsal at the circus went on briskly. In one
corner acrobats were trying new feats of agility and strength. In another
corner the elephant was having a morning-supper, with the clown in his
every day dress; while monkeys rode steeplechases on poodle dogs, and
all the time the crack of the whips and the cries of the grooms were
heard above all. And so the morning passed quickly ,away until dinner
"Dolly not returned yet," said the circus proprietor to himself, looking
at his watch. "She's a naughty child to be out so long, and this is the
last time I shall allow her to go out riding by herself."
Dolly's father was angry. But after dinner, and as the afternoon wore
on, his anger turned to anxiety-turned suddenly to wonder and dismay as
he heard shouts in the distance, and above the noise of excited voices the
clattering of a horse's hoofs.
A second afterwards Prince dashed up to him riderless. Riderless and
covered with mud, and the foam dropping from his mouth. For a moment
the poor man stood speechless, and then covering his face with his hands
he cried : My child, my little, little child, where is she ? "
He was recalled to himself by Prince pulling at his sleeve, and then
running on a few yards, stopping, and looking back at his master.
"The pony knows where she is. The pony wants you to follow him,"
shouted the crowd that had collected.
One minute more saw Dolly's father and a couple -of grooms dashing
through the town on beautiful horses, brave little Prince galloping on
Clatter, clatter, along the streets they went. Dogs flew out of cottages,
and barking, followed the horses for a short distance. Children tumbled
over one another in their excitement and rolled into the gutters.
Clatter, clatter, along the streets. And now they were past the town.
The three men and their horses, and Prince still ahead, were alone, the
crowd being left far behind.
Clatter, clatter, along the country road. Now breasting a steep hill,
now going at a breakneck-pace down into a valley. And now clatter,
clatter along a straight road for a mile.
They draw rein suddenly to ask a mender of the road if he has seen
a little girl in a riding habit. The mender of the road has not; no, he
has seen no one but some gipsies crossing a field in the distance, and that
was an hour ago.
Clatter, clatter, away again, up hill and down dale.
Look look I there is a ragged child, stockingless, shoeless, running down
that hill towards them, waving her arms, and crying to them. That ragged
child must know something of Dolly.
Again the three horsemen drew rein.
"Have you seen a little"-commences Dolly's father, addressing the child,
but stops in his speech, and, sliding from his horse, kneels upon the ground
and clasps the little ragged girl in his arms, and kisses her pale, tear-stained
face a hundred thousand times. For it is his Dolly, his darling Dolly, not a
bit hurt and perfectly well, but very, very, frightened.
Dolly had been stolen by gipsies, and so had Prince; but Prince had
managed to break away, and galloped home to tell the tale and show them
the way Dolly had been taken.
The gipsies, doubtless knowing that their crime would soon be found out,
by the pony going back, stole Dolly's habit, and boots and stockings, and,
giving her an old dress, let her go, making the best of their way across the
country. They were never caught, although they were well searched for.
There wasn't room for a month-old baby in the circus that night, and
when Dolly rode into the ring on Prince's back, and placed a wreath of laurel
leaves on his head, the people gave such a cheer, that I fully believe if it
had been in a building instead of a tent, the roof would -have been
blown off. And Prince deserved it, and deserved, too, all the love his
little mistress gave him, and the kindness of his master and of everybody
else : for, indeed, he was a very Prince of Ponies.
-- j I '.
* -- ~
af PkRJ7Ce OF PR07(IES.
VE sadly come to fhij belief,
Thlat every cat- J born a thief,
Arnd thieves h5i whole life through.
L /Alhoulg they look 5o mild and meek
A cat f idea of- honour'j weak,
And 1 can prove it, toe
| used to think it very q/ueer
rhat all my bone5 j~hould' disappear
Whenever j went to sleep-
o find our Why I often tried,
80o jlept with one eye open wide,
A 5ort of watch to keep.
No oW, near my kennel \wa5 a bone,
(Wth not much on it that I own
'd had it all the day)
When with my open eye I Jaw,
Distinct and clear, a feline paW,
Which pulled that bone away.
What happened then .9 will not tell.
O'er what that thieving cat befell
We'd better draw' a curtain,
Sut aiince that day ve .have not met-
don't believe he9 better yet,
He'll teal no more-thats certain
But What- A want- to jay5, 15 that
lJo honest folks should keep a cat-
They really are such kie'e5.
ThatI it iy better, do t'
To keep an honet dog,
"JbACK"' e ,
SOMI6 FRIENDS OF MINE.
A L L dogs are friends of mine, and I'm very fond of my friends, and my
friends are very fond of me. That, I think, is the way things ought
to be. Well, I'm not going to tell you about all the dogs I've had,
for they've been so numerous that I could fill a big book about them,
but what I'm going to tell is something about the "funny dogs" I've known.
I think the funniest dog I ever knew was a French poodle I had, called Tom.
He was a big white 'dog, and when he was washed and combed he looked
splendid, but he was so conceited he hardly knew what to do with himself.
I used to have him clipped in the Summer as you generally see French
poodles, and he would sit so patiently while it was being done, because I
think he knew he attracted more attention with his bare legs with the big
frills of long hair left round them just above the ankles, and his name TOM
in big hairy letters down his back.
One day after I had washed him and these nice white frills had been combed
out, a little girl who saw him in the street, called out, "Oh, Mamma, look at
that doggie, he's got his stockings turned up." Tom must have taken this as
a compliment, I think, for he went up to her to be patted.
At the same time I kept two other dogs-" Nelly," a little pug, and
"Bill," a big bull-dog. Bill didn't like Tom very much, because he was a
Frenchman you know, and Bill was a regular "John Bull." They used to
fight sometimes, but I'll tell you something about that later on.
[ 28 ]
Nelly, the pug, was "great friends" with
Tom and used to make her bed on him
every night. He used to sleep in an
arm-chair, and Nelly would nestle in his
long white coat and make herself very
'/ I'comfortable, growling and snapping at him
Sif he dared to move and disturb her. I
would sometimes put a collar and leather
lead on to Nelly, and then giving the
I lead to Tom would say, "Take her for
S'a walk, Tom." He would take the lead
y li '!'' into his mouth and pull her out into the
S street whether she wanted to go or not,
and then trot her up and down till I called
them in. I don't think that Nelly, who
E was very fat and lazy, liked it very much,
but Tom knew that exercise was good
The cat's-meat man used to call every
day, and, when I heard him a long way down the street calling M-e-e-atJ
M-e-e-e-e-at !" I would give Tom a penny, and off he would scamper to buy
himself a dainty morsel. He would put the penny down on the floor by the
side of the man, and keep his foot on it till he got what he wanted. One
day, while I was standing at the door, waiting to pay the man for the meat
he brought for my cats, Tom, who had bought and eaten his share, came
scampering back to where I was standing, and, seeing another penny between
my finger and thumb, he snatched it away, and ran off and bought some more
meat for himself before I could get over my astonishment at his bare-faced
robbery. He knew he had done wrong, for he wouldn't come near me for
an hour or more.
Talking about the cat's-meat-man, I once had a parrot that used to call
"Me-a-t! M-e-a-t!" and bring four little Spaniels I had at the time scampering
into the room. They would look longingly at the parrot, but Poll would
only tell them to "put the kettle'on," which was really disappointing.
I told you that Tom and Bill, the bull-dog, used to fight sometimes.
One day, I was taking them both for a walk, when we met four or five
French poodles, performing dogs belonging to the circus at Olympia. I had
Bill fast by a chain, but Tom (who could jump through hoops, and walk on his
hind legs as well as any circus dog) swaggered up to his fellow countrymen.
[ 29 ]
I don't know what he said, because it was in dog's French, which I don't
understand, but I think it must have been something rude, for they all turned
on him and rolled him over into the mud, and pulled great locks of hair out
of his nice white coat. Bill was terribly angry. He pulled the chain out
of my hand, and ran at those poodles, caught hold of one and gave him a
shake, then another and another, till, in a very short time, he made them all
run for their lives.
Bill was a funny dog, but not so funny as another bull-dog I had once,
called "Ugly." Oh, he was ugly. That's why he got his name; but he was
so kind and good-tempered. I gave him to a friend who had several little
children, and "Ugly" got so fond of them, that he was never happy out of
their company, and nothing pleased him better than to be allowed to play
on the hearth-rug with the baby. This little "Toddles" would raise himself
up on his feet by catching tight hold of Ugly's back or ears or tail, as the
case might be, and then walk along with him, still holding tight to the dog,
who would go as slowly as he could, because he knew, if he went quickly;
baby would tumble. The Nurse always said that Ugly taught baby to walk;
and indeed I think so too. Nurse, however, was the only person who objected
to having Ugly in the nursery, because he would never allow her to correct
the children in any way, and before a naughty little girl or boy could
be put in the corner, Ugly had to be turned out of the room.
I could tell you lots of stories about this dog-
how he used to climb ladders, and how he jumped
through the window and smashed all the glass; but ''.
I haven't room enough in this book, for I want to
tell. you about some other friends of mine.- .
Nick, a fox-terrier, was a very great friend, but '
I' am sorry to say he was a naughty dog, for -
he led our poor puss a terrible life. Nothing we
could do would make him friendly with her. i
Whenever he saw puss he would chase and bark at
her until she had to run up a tree for safety.
But one day Nick fell ill, really very ill, and had to
lie by the fire wrapped up in a shawl. Then puss
showed how kind and forgiving she was, for she
came and licked his face and lay down beside
him to keep him warmer, and Nick appeared very
grateful, which I am sure he ought to have been.
[ 30 1
Naturally we thought that they would be friends in future, but I am sorry
to say when Nick got well again he forgot all about pussy's kindness, and
tormented her worse than ever, so much so that I had to give him away to
a friend who did not keep a cat.
The handsomest dog I ever knew was a St. Bernard. She was, indeed, a
beautiful dog, and had taken a lot of prizes at dog shows. Like Ugly," she
was very fond of children, and used to sleep in the nursery, which was a very
large room. No one could tell how it was that the blankets on the cots got
so torn at the corners, till early one morning the Nurse heard such a lot of
laughing in the nursery, that she got up and watched what was going on.
She saw the children spread out a blanket on the floor, upon which one of
them then sat, while the big St. Bernard dog caught hold of the corner
of the blanket and pulled them all round the room. This was very jolly fun
for the dog and the children, but bad for the blankets.
One morning the children were very much surprised when they woke up to
find that their big dog was not in the room, and this was very unusual, for she
always waited to have her romp, and then saw the children downstairs to the
breakfast room. Nurse was very mysterious, and wouldn't say what had
become of the St. Bernard, but told the little ones to have their bath, and be
dressed quickly as there was a great surprise waiting for them. And it was a
surprise, in fact, five surprises, for the children found, when they scampered
downstairs, lying on a warm rug, their big dog with five little fat puppies. The
children were delighted, and as there happened to be five of them also, they
thought there would be just a puppy each. But it was quite impossible to
keep six St. Bernards in the house, so four of the puppies were given away as soon
as they were old enough to leave their mother, and the remaining puppy, the
big dog and the children shared between them. I think the children had the
most of it, for first one and then another would carry it off, while the mother
would look at them reproachfully, but never thought of being angry. They
called the puppy Rex, and he grew up to be a very fine dog, even bigger than his
mother, and was just as good natured and would carry the children about on
his back as easily as a donkey could have done.
Two very funny dogs I had once were "Mahdi" and "Pepper," the
former a long-backed bandy-legged "dachshund" (which is the German for
badger dog), and the latter a Scotch terrier. They were great friends, but
they were never allowed out together because they always went poaching.
Neither of them would do it alone, but one led the other into mischief.
Mahdi would go downstairs every morning and bring me the newspaper
that the paper boy pushed under the door. One day the paper hadn't been
I .a4; .4. a-
... ME- ..-T! M. .E-A-T .
folded properly, and as he was bringing it up-
stairs it came undone, and dangled about his
bandy legs. He was some time before he made
his appearance, and when he did so it was with
\ 'only part of the paper, which he brought to
me and then rushed off and brought another bit, till, after five or six journeys,
I got the whole of the news-but in what a state Mahdi stood there wagging
his tail as if he had done something very clever indeed. He had found it
more convenient to bring it up in small pieces than have the whole sheet
tripping him up as he came upstairs.
These two dogs would come and sit by my side, begging, every dinner
time, watching with eager eyes every mouthful I took in a way that was quite
And now I will tell you a tale about a dog-a poor half-starved mongrel-
that a lady, a friend of mine, took pity on one Winter's night when it was
snowing hard and freezing bitterly. This lady heard something whining at the
front door, and when she opened it a poor thin, wretched dog crawled into
the hall. It looked so pitifully at her, and seemed so cold and hungry, that
she could not find in her heart to turn it out again, so she took it down into
the kitchen and gave it a tremendous supper of bones, and bread, and gravy,
and all that sort of thing, and made it a comfortable bed before the kitchen
fire till they could find it a place in the yard next day. The poor dog looked
into her face when she left him as much as to say I thank you, ma'am; I'll
be kind to you some day."
[ 32 ]
The same night the lady heard an awful noise downstairs, and on her son
going down he found the kitchen window open, and the poor dog lying dead
close beside it, and a policeman outside, who had just caught a burglar running
away. It turned out afterwards that this man and a companion had forced
the window open and got into the house, where they knew there was plenty
to steal; and the poor mongrel, ready to do his duty at once, flew at them
so savagely that they had to kill it before they could make their escape. The
lady had the poor dog buried in the garden next day, but she never forgot
what it had done; for she can't see a poor, half-starved dog now, but she
must go into the nearest baker's shop to buy it something to eat.
I should like to go on writing a good deal more about my four-footed
friends, but there isn't room enough in this book. I should like to tell you
all about Rock, a Skye-terrier, who one day fell over a cliff, and couldn't get
up by himself, but was clever enough to put his head into a noose I made
with my handkerchief, which I let over the side of the cliff with my stick
and drew him up in safety. Perhaps, some day the Editor will let me tell
you some more tales about my pets. If you write and ask him, I'm sure
R. K. Mounsey.
J6WEL, THE D )AKE.
/ I C HIP, chip, crack!"
Dear me !" said the Duckling. "Where
have I got to now ?"
He certainly had only a hazy recollection
,e cven then of previous affairs; but this was really
something quite new. His head was well through
S- 4\\ the thin, white, crackly cavern which had hitherto
enclosed him-he couldn't quite remember for how long; and he soon
wriggled himself out altogether, and became aware that he was a soft,
yellowish, fluffy sort of a creature, with a mouth which gaped with a desire
to have something put into it. Then, looking up, he saw a white, feathery
creature before him, and, somehow, he knew that it was his Mother.
What is this ?" said the Duckling. Where am I ?"
"This is the world!" replied his Mother.
"What is the world ? he asked again.
"The world is the pond we live in," answered she, "and just what goes
The Duckling thought the world seemed a pleasant place. Over his
head, high, high up, was the blue sky, with soft white clouds floating across
it; beneath his feet was grass, fresh and cool to his young toes. The trees
were all a mist of green with their tender leaves, and under the limes lay
scattered the little pink nightcaps that had kept the buds warm through the
winter frosts. And when his Mother led him and some other fluffy yellow
creatures, whom he knew to be his brothers and sisters, down to the pond,
and he saw its waters lying so sheeny and so still, with tall green reeds,
bending in the faint breeze, growing at its edge, he
decided that really it was a very pleasant place.
"Now, children," said Mother-duck, when they
came to the brink of the pond,
"now, you must learn to go in
properly. Some people's children
just flop in, without a bit of style .
about them, especially when they 4
have been brought up by one of
those foolish old hens; but you \nVx _
[ 34 ]
may thank your stars that you have a Mother who can teach you properly.
Now, then, watch me, and do as I do."
So they tried to do as she did, and softly bowed and curtesied themselves
into the water; and Mother-duck was pleased, and said it wasn't bad for a
first attempt. And then they swam about; and as our Duckling felt the
cool ruffle of the water to his breast, and about his pink legs and feet, and
the warmth of the sunshine on his back, a great joy began to grow up in
his heart-it was so nice to be alive in such a beautiful world !-so nice
that he thought that he would like to try to sing, as he heard a lark singing
somewhere far, far above his head. But, alas! when he tried, all he could
say was, Squee, squee !" which didn't express at all what he was feeling.
Still, perhaps, it wasn't so bad for a Duckling not above a day or two old.
And so a very pleasant life began. Every evening they went back to the
farmyard, and had a cosy sleep all through the night among the warm straw;
and every morning they got up with the sun, and shook themselves, and
preened their feathers, and then pecked about the yard and the field, before
they waddled off in a string along the path under the trees to the pond,
and there they swam, and splashed, and dived, and played at Snip, Snap,
Snip, when they tried to catch the shining flies that darted about above
the placid water, and dabbled their bills in the soft mud, and caught the worms
and gobbled up the poor snails which they found among the grass, or under
the big dock-leaves. Then sometimes they went and chatted to the big old
frog who lived on the bank among the flags and reeds, and who had grown so
old and big that all the ducks respected him, and never tried to eat him, but
used to talk with him, and so gain a great deal of information.
But changes came, as changes always do come to everyone in this world.
One day the Farmer's wife came down to the pond, and looked attentively
at the Duckling and his sisters as they were swimming about, enjoying
"As fine a brood," she said to her husband, who stood by her, "as ever
I see I'll take them up to Madam at the Hall to-morrow."
"What does Madam want with them?" he asked.
"They have been that unlucky with their ducks this year as never was,"
she answered; and she asked me only yesterday if I could spare her a
Our Duckling did not understand them; but the next morning, instead oi
strolling down to the pond as usual, he found himself caught and thrust into
a dark place where he had hardly room to stir. He was terribly frightened,
and his only comfort was that he felt he was among his own friends, for his
--"--- -- "-" A '
i ..e r- ..ere all shaking and trembling round
-- him, and he could hear the familiar though
stifled Quack, quack," of Mother-duck in
the gloom. Then came a curious shaking and jumbling which terrified him still
more, because he did not know it was only the motion of the arm of the
Farmer's wife, as she carried her basket up to the Hall. Presently there were
sounds of voices, and at last the lid of the basket was lifted up, and there
was the blue sky and the sunshine again, and the prisoners were all let out
on some green turf, where a lady stood, and a little girl, beside the Farmer's
wife; and lo there was a pond twenty times bigger than the old pond,
spreading out shining and dimpling, with the swallows skimming over it.
"A new world !" thought our Duckling; "a new and a beautifuller world
still! And away he went to examine it, and learn all its wonders.
It took him quite a long, long time to swim all round it, and there were
so many new things to see that he grew quite bewildered. Among other
wonders, there were some beautiful birds with great white, feathery, curving
wings, and long, graceful necks, who swam stately about.
"Those are swans." said Mother-duck, when he asked her. Oh, yes !
they are very grand; but I don't care for them-cross, ill-tempered things.
Don't you go too near them, my dear, for they are very fierce."
But there was one person he grew to like very much, and that was Patty,
the Squire's little daughter, who ran down every day to feed the birds with
crumbs-a gentle little creature, to whom the ducks and swans all came crowding
when she called them.
[ 36 ]
"But I like you best, you little dear," said Patty to our Duckling, "for
you are not rude and greedy, like the others, and you take the bread out
of my hand quite gently, and don't snatch, and tear, and quarrel, like some
of the others. And then, you are growing so beautiful I shall call you Jewel,
for your head and neck are getting all green and sheeny, like the sparkling
stone in Mother's ring. I expect you came out of that egg which Mrs. Brown,
the Farmer's wife, said she thought was a wild duck's egg."
Jewel was pleased with his new name, and he and Patty grew great
friends. He would go up the path to meet her when she was coming down
to the pond, and take the corner of her pinafore in his bill, and walk back
beside her, so that everyone laughed who saw them. And sometimes Patty
would sit down by the lake under the shade of the trees, and sing her songs,
and Jewel would sit by her. One song she was very fond of singing, and
Jewel liked it, too, though he thought it didn't quite do his people justice.
It was called-
THE SEVEN WISE DUCKS.
A little toy-boat came floating along,
Met seven wise ducks together.
"Quack, quack!" said they, "here's a strange odd fowl,
That swims with never a feather-
With never a feather it glides along
Was ever such heard of in story or song ?"
"No beak!" said one, "nor a scrap of tail!"
One wing-but truly a queer one."
Then they twisted their necks, and screwed up their eyes,
Is it safe to let it come near one? "
"Will it bite? Can it quack? Oh, dear!" cried they,
We never did see such a thing till to-day!"
That bit of a craft went floating on,
Nor stayed a reply to utter;
Then those valiant ducks they all turned tail,
And swam away in a flutter.
"Of course, we're not frightened-oh, no!" said they;
But perhaps it is prudent no longer to stay."
i -- I
A T --'TV TI L D.
'1A NE1V It' lORL).'
..p.,~ -~= T-
'.ill By-and-bye the sun didn't
shine so brightly, and the green-' "___
trees grew orange and yellow and --
brown, and the leaves came showering ____
down like golden rain, and made a
bright carpet over the smooth lawns. And one morning there was a new-comer
in the lake-a strange water-fowl, as beautiful as Jewel himself, but wild and shy.
"Where have you come from ?" asked Jewel.
"I come from the shining North, because Giant Winter has frozen the sea
with his icy breath." The sea !-what is the sea?"
"It is a great pond," said his new friend, miles and miles long."
"What! bigger than this ? asked Jewel, amazed. Is there another world
as much bigger than this, as this is bigger than the Farmer's pond ?"
"Bigger than this !" said the Wild Duck, disdainfully. "Do you call
this big ? Pooh this is nothing-this is not the world. You must come
with us in the Spring. You are one of us-I see by your coat-and were
never meant to be mewed up here."
"This is home," said Jewel. Home is better than the world, I think."
But all the Winter the Wild Duck talked to Jewel, and told him such
stories about the sea and the North, with its icebergs and snowfields, and great
mountains topped with snow, and laced with glaciers, and of deep green valleys,
with their rushing streams, that a new, strange longing filled Jewel's heart to
see all these wonders, and nost of all the great sea, with its heaving green
billows and seething foam.
You must come," said his friend; "it will soon be time."
"But I can't leave Patty."
Patty oh, nonsense 1 You can come back to her; besides, you haven't
seen her for weeks."
[ 38 ]
And so one night in early Spring, when a strange cry sounded overhead,
the Mallard said it was his friends gathering for their journey, and he must
go. Then the longing grew so strong in Jewel's heart, that he, too, spread his
strong wings and flew away.-away, leaving home and Patty, and so went off
to see the world.
There isn't space to tell you of all the wonderful things Jewel saw in his
journey. They flew over hill and dale, and moor and fen, till they came to
the sea, and Jewel saw at last its tossing waves and heard the roar of the
breakers. On they fleeted, day after day, till they came to land again, and
then again sea; and there were tall cliffs, where the sea-fowl perched along
the ledges, and islands where they screamed and swarmed among the rocks.
But on went Jewel and his friends, with but little pause, till they reached
the great beds of reeds which grow where the Gulf of Bothnia spreads its
northernmost waters into the land. And there were myriads of other-birds-
whistling swans and grey-legged geese, and ducks and teal, and all kinds of
water-fowl. There they stayed all the Summer days, when the great sun
never seemed to set, but just circled round, washed his face in the sea, and
then was up again. There they built their nests, and reared the little
ducklings, and swam and splashed, and played among the reed-beds. But still,
though very delightful, Jewel never forgot Patty and his home, and often
thought about them when his friends were asleep, and wondered if Patty was
sorry that he was gone.
Then it began to grow chill again, and the time came to go south; and
they all began to prepare for the journey with an immense clang and clatter.
First went off the mammas and the little ones, and then the papas followed
more leisurely. They did not mind a little cold, so long as the ice wasn't
too thick; and when they reached the more southern and western coast of
Sweden, they stayed for a while enjoying themselves among the little islands
which there fringe the coast. One day Jewel and his friend were swimming
"Well, Jewel," said his comrade, "are you not glad you came to see the
world, instead of staying in that hum-drum- "
He never finished his speech, for, bang! bang! a terrible noise burst out
near them, and the poor Mallard fell over with a cry, and there floated dead
upon the water.
Up rose all the birds, Jewel among them, with screams of fear and dread,
till the sky was darkened by their beating wings, and the air filled with
clamour and cry. Away away they streamed with screams and flutter.
"I will go home," thought Jewel. "I will go home."
L 39 ]
And how had it been at home all these months ? When Patty, who had
been ill in the Winter, was strong enough to go down to the lake, she was
quite broken-hearted to find Jewel was lost.
Oh, dear Jewel!" she sobbed. "Oh! where are you-where are you ?"
"Don't fret, Missy," said the old Gardener. "Jewel is off with that
strange Mallard who was here all the Winter, I'll be bound. He is a bit of a
wild duck himself-you could see by his beautiful plumage, for all his gentle
ways. But I shouldn't wonder if he comes back in the Autumn."
And now the Autumn had come, and the leaves were golden again. Patty
came down to the lake, and began to feed the ducks and swans; and as she
did so, she thought of her pet.
"Oh, Jewel!" she said, sorrowfully, "won't you come back soon?"
Just then she heard a little flutter of wings, and felt a gentle pull at her
frock; and looking down, there was Jewel beside her, with the corner of her
pinafore in his beak, just as of old.
Oh, Jewel! you dear you darling !" she cried. You have come back
at last!" And sitting right down on the grass amid the red and golden
leaves, she hugged her new-found pet in her arms quite in ecstasy.
"Well," said the swans, when Jewel swam round, and said How do
you do ?" to all his friends-"well, now you have been to see the world,
what do you think of it ?"
It is all very beautiful," said Jewel with a sigh, as he thought of his
poor slain friend. "It is very fine and lovely; but, after all, there is no
place like home 1" \ 1 1 A, 7'
J^C TJH6 PRIDDOGk
IT was a beautiful morning in June. The sun was busy drinking up the
cups of dew which the flowers had got ready for him in the night, and
the little brown Colt was teasing its mother to tell it a story.
It spoke its own pretty language, which you would never have
understood, if you had been there, but all horses understand it perfectly-so
do the fairies, and one or two men-gipsies mostly-and the man who
understands that language can ride any horse, no matter how unruly it may be
with other people.
Well, the little Colt kept on teasing:
"You know, Mother," it said, "I have played by myself ever since it got
light this morning, and am so tired. Tell me a story, do, dear mammy."
And the little Colt rubbed its face coaxingly against its Mother's neck-in
just the way that mothers find it so hard to resist.
The Mother-horse took another bite of the short sweet turf before she
replied. You, of course, never speak with your mouth full, but the "Book of
Good Manners for Horses" has nothing in it about that, but only warnings
E 41 ]
against kicking, and biting people's fingers, which, of course, no little 'boy or
girl would ever think of doing.
"What kind of a story would you like ?" she asked.
Oh, tell me about something that happened when you were little."
"That- is the story the children always like best," said the Mother-horse
-and so it is-and with that she began to tell it. And the Baby-horse listened
with all its ears. It had only two, like other horses, but if it had had more
it would have listened with them, and as it was it listened with all the ears it
had, and the best of us can do no more-and some of us don't do so
"When I was quite young, not so young as you, my dear, but still young
enough to be foolish, I remember one day there was a great commotion in
the stable-yard. We heard that a new dog was coming to live with us. Now
our last dog Trust had been sent away because he would bite the sheep so-
and I've often thought he couldn't have come to a good end. But we were
all very fond of Trust, and when the shepherd took him away for the last
time, we were almost broken-hearted, and Snow, the old white cart-horse, only
put in words what we were all thinking when he said:
"I don't care what kind of dog they put in old Trust's place, I shall hate
him, whatever he is, and if he comes near me I'll-I'll bite him !"
[ 42 ]
"The new dog came; they called him Vincent. He was a great, big St.
Bernard, very handsome, and very gentle-looking; indeed, I never remember
to have seen a more gentle, manly dog than Vincent. He would never have.
bitten a sheep, even if he had had to drive them all day."
"Did he have to drive them all day?" asked the young colt.
My dear, didn't I say he was a gentleman ? He did nothing for his
living, except saying what he thought of the people who came into the yard.
Well, good and kind as he was, we all hated him, and none of us would
make his acquaintance, or even speak to him. When he had been there three
days he came into the stable, and when he was passing behind old Snow's
stall, he barked-at a rat, I always believed; but old Snow, who -is rather
deaf, thought the new dog was presuming to make fun of our stable arrange-
ments, and before any of us could say a word, he had kicked out, and Vincent,
poor dog, lay on the stable flags, not moving a bit; his leg was broken.
"The stable-boy ran in, and he fetched the groom, and between them they
carried the poor dog away, and it was many days before any of us saw him
again. He was being nursed; and at last, one day, they brought him back
into the yard. He was quite well again, but he was lame, and that would
never be cured.
"The stable-boy chained him to the kennel, so that he should not be hurt
again, and he used to lie there in the sun, blinking towards the stable, as
though he would like to have one more try at being friends with the rest of
us, in spite of all he had suffered from old Snow.
"One day the snap of the chain was broke, and Vincent was free. Old
Snow was leaning over the half-door of the stable. Vincent got up and
stretched his great length in front of his kennel; then he went straight to old
Snow-was he going to bite him, and take his revenge for that kick ?
"Vincent was too gentle and good for that. He just went up to old
Snow, and kissed his white face that was put out over the door. That was
his way of showing he would like to forgive and forget, and to be friends
even with a person who had used him so badly.
Well, of course, that made us all ashamed of ourselves; and from that
time everyone in the stable loved Vincent as much as he deserved."
"That's a nice story," said the little Colt; "but tell me another."
"Another!" answered Mother-horse., "Why, there never was such a child
as mine for stories."
(Every mother says that.)
"And let it be a pretty story, with nothing sad in it. Don't let anybody
- ~ -#,B' A~g
[ 44 ]
"Very well," the Mother-horse answered. "I will tell you the story of
The Peacocks and the Nightingale.
"There were once three beautiful Peacocks, with the most splendid blue
and green and gold tails, and they lived in the loveliest garden, with flowers,
and green lawns, and terraces, and every kind of beautiful tree and shrub;
and they were happy, because everyone who came into the garden admired
them so, and there is nothing peacocks care so much for as admiration.
Whenever any visitors came to the house, they admired the flowers and the
trees, and then they would say-
"' Look at those lovely Peacocks Oh they are far nicer than all the
rest of the garden.'
"But the Peacocks' manners were very bad. I remember once or twice
they strayed into the stable-yard, and I used often to see them when I was
brought round to the door for my young lady to ride. They always had their
beaks in the air, and they never had a civil word for anyone. 'We are the
kings of the garden, and we know our place too well to talk with low
creatures like horses,' they would say.
"Well, my dear, this went on for some time. The Peacocks grew vainer
and vainer, until at last something happened which changed their high opinion
"It chanced that in a corner of a marble terrace of that big beautiful
garden lived a little brown bird, not at all handsome to look at-in fact, I am
sure no peacock or other fashionable fowl would have been seen walking with
such a dowdy bird. But this little bird could do one thing that the Peacocks
couldn't do-it could sing. And when it had lived a little while in the garden,
people seemed to care less for the beautiful green and gold birds, and when
one person said-
"' What lovely Peacocks !'
Some one else was sure to say-
"'Yes, but have you heard the Nightingale ?'
"And they would go off to the corner of the terrace where the little
brown bird sang, and when they had once heard its voice they very seldom
went back to the lawn where the Peacocks lived.
"Then they thought they would try singing too. But they made a
dreadful noise. Oh, my dear, it was enough to make one shy across the
paddock to hear it.
"And at last the handsomest Peacock said to his brothers:
'My dear boys, there's no help for it, we must go and listen to this
common, low bird, and see how he does it.'
"So one day they all went to the terrace to listen to the Nightingale's
song. The brown bird felt quite shy-so it told me afterwards-for it had
never had such a fashionable audience before. But it did its best, as it
"And the Peacocks listened and listened, and forgot all about their fine
feather dresses, and their low opinion of the Nightingale. They forgot all their
envy and vanity, and only felt that they wanted the brown bird never to
leave off singing.
"At last it did leave off, and made a little bow to its audience, and flew
away without waiting to be thanked.
"When it was gone, the Peacocks looked at each other.
"'Well,' said the biggest one, 'We can never sing like that.'
"'But we can come and listen,' said the second.
"'And we will,' said the third.
"And so they did; and I think after that they were not so anxious to be
praised, and they took a pleasure in praising the Nightingale, which took away
some of their thoughts from themselves."
"And is that all the story?" asked the little Colt, who had listened to
t 46 ]
Yes, that's all the story. Is it a nice one ?
The Colt rubbed its nose thoughtfully against its Mother.
"Yes," it said, "Yes, it's nice-but won't you tell me one without a-what
is it that comes at the end of the fables about us animals?"
"A moral," said the Mother-horse.
"Yes-tell me one without that."
"I can't," said the Mother, "all stories have morals." Then she went on:
"Let me see, did I ever tell you the Rook's Story? No. Well, that was
a tale that I heard from a Rook who was digging for worms in the paddock
the other day while you were playing down by the fence. Do you see that
man in the next field ? Well, the Rook used to be very frightened of him,
and not dare to go into the field to pick up the grains of corn after the sower
had so kindly put them there. But it happened that one of the rooks had
weak eyes, and he mistook the man for a tree, and went and perched on his
arm-and the man never moved Then the Rooks saw that they had nothing
to be afraid of, and they went and sat there beside the one that had weak
eyes; and then they found that the man had only a turnip for a head, and
broomsticks for arms, and a bag of straw for a stomach."
"I shouldn't like to have only straw in my stomach," said the little Colt.
Perhaps he didn't like it, nor yet having only a turnip for brains-though
there are plenty of people like him. Perhaps he was too much occupied with
his own troubles to think of the Rooks : at any rate, he never moved, and
though he seemed to look at them, I don't think he could see them. And
the moral of that story is-"
"Oh, don't," said the young Colt.
"The moral of that is, 'Don't be afraid of people with turnip brains-nor
of anything, just because you don't know what it is.'"
"You mean, don't shy,'" said the Colt.
"Yes,"* said the Mother: "and now one more little tale I'll tell you before
you run off to play again."
"There was once a Pig: I knew him very well. He did not mean to be
greedy, but he had not been well brought up.
"He was grubbing about in the woods one day, and? he'poked his snout
into a hole under a hollow tree, and he routed out a heap of nuts and acorns,
and just as he was thinking what a nice little mouthful they would make, a
bright brown Squirrel hopped out of the tree, and said:
"' Oh, don't !'
"'Don't what?' said the Pig.
"'Don't eat up all my Winter's dinner-now don't!'
V~/A (VYIVT .\'
7THE S7-1ABLE. YARD.
I- : .
[ 47 ]
"'All right,' said the Pig, 'but, really, you needn't make such a fuss
about a trifle.'
"' A trifle !' said the Squirrel, 'Yes it's a trifle to you-but not to me. You
have your dinner provided for you, and you don't have to do anything for it
except (excuse my mentioning it, won't you ?), except dying some day. Why,
you might almost be a duke. But look at me. I have to work hard to get my
food, so don't be greedy and take it away, will you now ?'
"'No, no!' said the Pig, 'I daresay I am a'lazy fellow, but you see I am
so fat. I couldn't be industrious.'
"'No,' said the Squirrel, 'but I have to be: that's why I'm so thin.'"
"There's no moral to that story," said the little Colt, joyously.
"Oh! isn't there ?" the Mother was beginning, when the little Colt
kicked up its heels and scampered off to play among the daisies. It loved
stories, but it always liked to skip the "moral." Children never do that,
THE kIT-CAT CLUB.
C OUSIV(, JIf I is always laughing at us about our cats. The last
time he came to .see us he began saying a teasing kind of rhyme
"The dog will come when he is called,
The cat will walk away,"
and we really had almost a squabble about it. But I think I quite showed
him that he was mistaken in thinking that cats are heartless and stupid.
Ours always come when we call them, and very often when we don't.
And, as far as affectionateness, they are just full of it; you should see
Alexander following us round the garden, or little Penguin sitting on
Mother's knee, when she is writing, with his tiny fore-paws on the table
just as if he wanted to help her. And last Winter, when she was very
ill with a cold she caught helping to make the new rockery, and had to
stay in bed, Sandy insisted on going to see her every day; and it wasn't
cupboard-love in the least, for she never feeds him. One day when
her dinner was left on a stool outside her door, he sat up beside it -and
mewed piercingly to be let in. It is not every dog that would sit alone
with a boiled wing of chicken, and never so much as taste it. Not that
I want to say anything against dogs, they are very nice, indeed, in their
way; but while everyone praises them up and takes pains to understand
S4 M5EMBSR OF THE KIT-CAT CLUB.
|* 'L -:
[ 50 ]
them, so many people won't take a bit of
7 trouble to know what cats are really like,
S.'or to see their good qualities.
Mother always says that you must
.'', master a dog and keep him well-mannered
and obedient principally by fear; dogs will
obey the roughest, unkindest sort of men,
who behave as badly as possible to them
and everyone else. But a cat, she says, you can only win by being kind
and polite. They will never submit to force or cruelty, but if you treat them
properly they'll be just as fond of you and as faithful as any dog. Anyhow,
that's how our cats are.
We have only -three just now; Mother would like to have four, but
Father says he thinks three is a very nice number indeed, and that if
Mother doesn't take care she will be put in the newspapers like that old
lady-I forget her name-who has so many pussies that her neighbours
don't like it.
The largest and the eldest is Alexander (that is his real name, but we
call him Sandy, for short) ; he is a most handsome cat, and his hair is
very much the same colour as Valentine's. We did mean to call him
Marigold, but somehow it didn't seem quite to suit him, though the colour
matched. Perhaps his immense white whiskers and eyebrows made it
Then there is little Penguin; we call him that because he is marked
so funnily with black and white, and looks exactly like one when he sits
up and begs. He is a plump little cat with deep silky fur; he looks as
broad as he is long, Nurse says. He and Sooty are cousins; they are
about the same age, and were brought
to us in the same basket.
It is the most comical thing in the
world to see them playing together at
hide-and-seek. There is a large curtain
over a door in the hall, and one of them .
gets behind this and expects the other
to come and look for him, and if he is -..
rather long about it you will see a little
head and a pair of bright eyes peeping -
round the curtain like a disappointed -
child. But when the other comes and
L 51 ]
begins to look, perhaps at the wrong side of the curtain, you hear a sudden
scamper of soft little feet and a big bounce as the hiding one rushes out
from his concealment and springs on his playmate; and then they go tumbling
over and over one another with their paws round each other's necks, squealing
with fun and excitement.
We were perfectly miserable, I remember, when Sandy's mother died.
Mr. Austin's keeper shot her because, he said, she used to catch his young
pheasants and partridges; but I don't believe for a moment that she ever did;
she was only fond of walking about in the woods, like anybody else. It would
be very hard if everyone who liked rambling out in the hazel-copse was
supposed to be after his vexing little birds. But he has promised never to
kill any of our cats again, and Mother has tied a bell and a ribbon on each
of them now, so that he may know them.
Poor Felicia I shall never forget how we cried when she came crawling
in, and dragged herself up to where Mother usually sits-Mother was out that
afternoon, though; she looked round, as if she were trying to find her, and
then she gave a faint kind of mew, and stretched herself out on Mother's
chair, and died.
[ 52 ]
She was such a clever cat When Sandy was a tiny kitten, he was one
of five that she was bringing up in the summer-house at the end of the
garden, and three of them were taken away (" made off with," as the Gardener
calls it). Well, the day after that happened, Sandy disappeared, too, and
nobody could think what Felicia had done with him.
So we watched her, and found that she used to go, very stealthily, to the
arch that is all covered with Japanese honeysuckle, and climb up into it; and
then we discovered that Sandy was up there, living quite cosily in a blackbird's
nest six feet above the ground. I suppose she was afraid lest he might be
"made off with," too, and thought he would be safer in another place.
We gave her a splendid funeral in the garden. Valentine made her a
beautiful tombstone out of wood, and painted it with white paint, and Christine
composed some poetry for her epitaph. But,
somehow, when you've really been
very fond of a pet, and it dies, the funeral
and all that isn't i much of a consolation.
There was another very clever mother-cat
that we knew. She lived-and lives still,
for aught I know- at a farmhouse where
we used to go and -_- stay every summer,
near the sea. We don't go there
anymore now, because r. Lee and his wife,
who had the farm, have gone to live
somewhere else; but f I daresay Angelina
remains. She began &' -- \ by being the stable-
cat; but she was so pretty (and not shy,
as most stable-cats are), that by degrees
they allowed her in the house, till she took up her abode there altogether.
She was quite a small tabby kitten when first we persuaded Mrs. Lee to
let her lie before the kitchen fire, and a lovely kitten she was, too; rather
inclined to be long-haired, with a fluffy white shirt-front, and great green eyes,
and the sweetest expression imaginable.
Valentine used to say, when he saw her sitting upon the dresser, with
Mrs. Lee's beloved willow-pattern plates behind 'her, looking dreamily at the
flies playing kiss-in-the-ring in the air, that if she were only white, and not
tabby, he should believe she was that enchanted pussy who turned into a
beautiful princess when her head was cut off. She was not, for .Mrs. Lee
knew her mother quite well; and if she had been, I'm sure Val would never
have had the heart to cut her little head off; besides, it would have been
[ 53 ]
very awkward supposing he did, and sup-
posing she had turned into a princess.-
I don't expect she would have cared to
play our games, and I'm not quite sure that J. ~
Mother and Father would have liked having q *
her to live with us. Fancy Father's having (W lM qI
to walk downstairs before her backwards,
with a gold candlestick in each hand, every
evening! And I'm certain he never would ..
have consented to wear court-dress every
So, on the whole, it was just as well that she was only an ordinary mortal
kitten. "You little mortal!" Mrs. Lee would call her, when she was more
than usually mischievous; yet, ordinarily, she was not. Never was such a
kitten for ridiculous pranks She was very fond of being upstairs when Jan,
who was only a baby then, was being put to bed. She would hide under
the flounce of the bassinet, and make sudden darts at him. He didn't mind
it a bit-in fact, I think he liked it, for he used to stretch out his little fat
arms to the little fat kitten, and laugh.
But Nurse did not altogether appreciate Angelina's attentions. She is not
as devoted to cats as we are, and she was always rather nervous lest her
baby might receive a chance scratch. However, the kitten would not be
driven away, even when Nurse blew in her face (which cats dislike more than
anything); and one evening Nurse got out of patience, and picking up one
of Jan's little shoes, threw it quite hard at Kitty, who, instead of being
properly ashamed, or crying out because it hit her, seemed to think it must
be some delightful new plaything, made on purpose for her, for she pranced
and patted it, and settled down to a long game with it.
S LJLWA/YS have had an inquiring mind, yes, always, from the time
I was quite a baby Donkey. People sometimes have said rather
unkind things about me, and declared I had a prying disposition, and
was too fond of poking my nose-as they rather vulgarly express it-
into what did not concern me. But that is quite a mistake. I only desire
to gain information, and a thirst for knowledge seems to me praiseworthy and
not to be blamed.
I think' I must partly have gained my love of knowledge from my
Mother, for I remember how much she enjoyed a little instructive conversa-
tion. She used to chat with anyone in the most affable and pleasant manner.
I recollect distinctly one evening when she and I were in the field together,
she had a long talk with a friendly hare. Mother and I had our heads close
together-I remember the soft warm feel of her neck still-while the hare
told us of a dreadful danger she had escaped; how she had been hunted by
men and dogs, but had managed to escape them by swimming down a stream
E 55 1
and so got away. It was really most thrilling to hear her tell her adventures.
I have since learnt that it is a customary thing to chase hares, though what
pleasure big, strong men can find in hunting poor little timid animals like
hares to torture and death has always been a puzzle to me. But human
beings are strange creatures, and, on the whole, I have no great opinion
Yet there was one human being whom I learnt to love very much, and that
was Molly, my master's little daughter. My master was the only man I ever
really respected, and Molly was a dear little girl and understood me thoroughly.
She would come and pat my neck and talk to me, and was so gentle and so
sweet that I even let her sometimes stroke my ears, though generally I
object very much to having them touched. I do not think people appreciate
the beauty of our ears, or understand how sensitive or expressive they are.
See one of my brethren in an enquiring mood; his ears stand upright, their
orifices turned forward to catch the slightest sound. See him in a bad temper;
his ears are laid back almost on his neck. See him in a gentle meditation;
one ear a little forward, the other a little back, and gently moving as his
philosophic spirit revolves many deep questions.
But Molly was so thoroughly sympathetic that I would not deny her the
pleasure of stroking my ears, which were particularly long, handsome and soft.
Sometimes she would bring me an apple, or a bit of bread, or, best of all, a
carrot. And we donkeys like nice things to eat as well as any other
creatures, only we are so patient that stupid people think we like hard fare
best, just because we take it patiently and make the best of it when there
is nothing else to be had. But true wisdom, my Mother always told me,
consists in taking good things gratefully when they are given you and not
grumbling over hard things when they come in their turn. For there are ups
and downs in every life.
_But what I wanted to tell
you about was a scrape I got into
through this love of knowledge of
S which I have spoken, and how it
S* f led to my career in life being settled
earlier than it otherwise would have
S i been. One evening I was alone in
-- the field, my mother having gone
back to her work of drawing a little
chaise about the seaside town that
S was near our home. I was feeling
[ 56 1
rather dull, and was looking at a lane which passed our field and wondering
where it led to, when I suddenly perceived that by pushing up a bit of
wood with my nose I could open the gate. Why I had not perceived this
before I don't know, but I saw it now, and immediately putting it in practice
I opened the gate quite easily and walked out into the lane. I strolled'
along it, feeling quite pleased with my cleverness, and staying now and then
to crop a tempting thistle by the wayside, or to chat to a neighbour's horse
who was looking over his gate, and a friendly cow or two, till I came to such a
pretty place that I stopped to look.
There was a cottage a little way off, and between it and the road lay a
garden gay with flowers, brighter than any garden I had ever seen before-and
then beyond the flowers were rows of nice green peas and beans, and cabbages,
and onions ; and there were apple trees on which the fruit began already to
show round and green. I had never been in a garden, and of course I wanted
to know what it felt like, so, as the gate was open and no one was about, I
walked in and looked round me.
Now I always maintain there was no harm in that, though I am willing to
confess I was wrong in what I did afterwards, only I was so young and
untaught that I had some excuse, for the flowers looked so pretty that I felt I
must taste as well as smell them, so I nibbled off a rose or two and some
pinks. I was very disappointed in their flavour, for even though they smelt so
sweet they had such a bitter taste that I left them and strolled across to the
vegetable part and there-oh joy-I found a little heap of dainty young carrots
just dug up and fresh, as if intended for me.
I was quite enjoying myself in my quiet way when all of a sudden I
heard a voice cry out-
"Oh, Bob "-(Bob was my name)-" Oh you naughty, naughty Bob !"
It was Molly's voice, and there was in it such a tone of grief and dismay
and reproof that I quite started, although my nerves are tolerably strong, and,
looking up, I saw the little girl coming towards me with so white and frightened
a face, that I felt quite concerned. She caught hold of the cord that happened
to be round my neck and began to lead me away, and though I had not
nearly finished my carrots, I went with her at -once. But we had not got out
of the gate when a man with a thick stick in his hand rushed out of the
cottage. "What is that brute doing here ?" he shouted. "Please, I am very
sorry," stammered Molly, "but he has got loose and the gate must have been
open. I will take him away at once."
"Take him away," roared the r'an, "I daresay that's all very fine, that
is. Why, he has been trampling all over the place, and tearing everything to
i I' '
pieces." And so saying, he raised his stick and gave me such a thwack that
I tingled all over.
Now I never did like men-no more did my Mother, though she rather
pitied them, because she thought that only having two legs had soured their
tempers and made them disagreeable. She had tried, she said, and had
found it so fatiguing that she felt sincere compassion for beings doomed to so
hard a fate. But legs or no legs, I wasn't going to let this man beat me with-
out an effort at defence, so I gave a good kick and caught him on the shin.
Oh wasn't he angry He rushed at me, caught my head, and standing
in front so that my legs could not get at him, he began to belabour me till my
little friend Molly couldn't bear to see me so badly used.
Sobbing and screaming she threw herself upon my neck, crying out that
he was cruel, and shouldn't beat her poor little Donkey, and clung so fast to
me that the man couldn't hit me without hitting her.
Hallo," cried someone, "Hallo, what are you doing to my little girl ?"
E 58 ]
It was my master's voice I knew, though I could not see him. I was so
muffled up between the man and Molly.
"What's your little girl doing in my garden," growled the man, "and your
Donkey, too ? He has eaten up all my young carrots I had just dug up-
carrots as is worth two-pence a piece this time of year."
"Oh! father," sobbed Molly, "I have five shillings in my money-box. Oh !
let me give it to this cruel man and take poor Bob home."
I ain't cruel," said the man, sulkily, "but just look at those flower beds,
let alone the carrots. I can't afford to have my things destroyed."
"All right," said my master. "He hasn't eaten all the carrots, and I'm
willing to pay for the others. Come along, Molly, you too, Bob, you scamp."
My Mother gave me a serious talking to that night and made me promise
never to touch anything again which was not given me, and I never have done
so since the matter was properly explained to me.
Next day my master came into the field and looked at me carefully.
"I didn't mean to send you out so soon, Bob," he said, "but idle feet get
into mischief as well as idle hands. So, my boy, you must go to work."
Thus my fate was settled. The next morning I was put into a little
cart, and taught to go in harness; and afterwards, every Tuesday and Thursday
and 'Saturday, took the cabbages and fruit and eggs to market. And I liked
it, for there was so much going on there: such a bustle of people, and such
a throng of horses, and donkeys, and cows, and sheep, and pigs; and I saw
and heard so many amusing things, that I quite enjoyed myself.
But one morning, Molly came rushing out to me, with her pretty hair
flying, her blue eyes shining, and her cheeks like two roses.
"Bob," she cried, flinging her arms round my neck and hugging me,
"Bob, it is my birthday, and what do you think Father and Mother have
given me ?"
I rubbed my cheek against hers in an enquiring manner.
"You, Bob, you!" she said. "You are to be my own, own, donkey,
and they have given me a new cart for you to draw, and we are to go this
afternoon up to Uncle Tom's, and fetch all the children down to tea. Oh !
Bob, you darling, you will go nicely, won't you ?"
Of course I trotted along as beautifully as a donkey could trot. Molly
and I had a lovely quiet drive through the lanes, where the Traveller's Joy
was all out in blossom, garlanding the hedges with wreaths of beauty. And
we came back in triumph-Molly driving, Dick and Sally walking on either
side, and Trot and Toddles, the twins, tucked away in the cart behind. And
not only that afternoon, but many another did the children and I go out
[ 59 1
together, and had grand times; and I grew to love them all, but none so
much as my dear little Mistress Molly.
My dear little Mistress Molly. One cold Winter, when the snow lay
deep and early on the ground, my little Molly went away, and never, never.
came back again. Someone whispered that the Angels, when they sang on
Christmas Eve, carried her away with them. I do not know if that were so,
but I know I never saw her more, or heard her sweet voice, or felt her dear
arms hugging my rough grey neck. And that Winter, too, my Master's head,
which had been brown as a hazel nut, grew suddenly white, and I often
heard my Mistress sob and sigh as she walked by my side to market.
I am an old Donkey now, and my Master lets me spend a great deal of
my time on the common. He and I have grown old together, he says, and
I am not to have more work than will keep my joints from getting too stiff;
and if anyone threatens to beat or ill-use me, he is very angry with them,
because his little Molly loved me, and for her sake he won't have me hurt.
M. A. Hoyer.
,1 ... 7 -.
', .' i l -. i : i
-' "-" ,~.- .-- ^ ~ ,, L ,-,, :
-, ,?- A : ',' -
,. ." ~
F-.. r. r
N O \
,', -. ', p'
becomes vulgar. Now our Mrs. ck was not vulgar; she had
Spanish blood in her veins and was the leader of the poultry-fashion at
Blackberry Farn, besides being the mother of seven wee fluffy yellow
ducklings, of whom she was exceedingly proud.
"Sage and onions!" she repeated. "To think that that puppy should
know all about it, while we in the farm-yard are left in-- ignorance. It's-
it's quite unbearable."
"Smudge, the puppy, was certainly not a favourite in the farm-yard,
not that he was a bad-hearted puppy, but he was a little too light-hearted
to suit the tastes of the other animals. He could not resist suddenly
.--*' s" .
coming round a conner and bow-wowing at Mrs. Duck and her seven
children, frightening them so-for the ducklings thought Smudge meant to
gobble them up-that they ran to the pond for safety. Then Master Puppy
becomes vulgar. Now our Mrs. Duck was not vulgar; she had
"Sage and onions !" she repeated. "To think that that puppy should
kinow all about it, while we in the farm-yard are left ir ignorance. It'ste
it's quite unbearable."
"Smudge, the puppy, was certainly not a favourite in the farm-yard,
to suit the tastes of the other animals. He could not resist suddenly
coming round a corner and bow-wowing at Mrs. Duck and her seven
children, frightening them so--for the ducklings thought Smudge meant to
gobble them up--that they ran to the pond for safety. Then Master Puppy
A RUN FOR) 10.11F
I .1. : f
., :F f~ i ;1
rl! s d
C 's~PI 1S~A
:~~ll~~cla~r~r~~r~. ~r~y- ~E~C~B~rd4I~. ~Y; r
~' ~Yc ~bff;~~-"-~T".
[ 6i ]
delighted, in the young pigs; their little curly tails were made to be pulled,
he thought; but the little pigs did not think so, and as soon as they saw
Smudge coming they scampered away to their mother and their sty.
In fact, none of the animals liked Smudge, and none of them spoke to
him; Mrs. Nanny Goat told him that she would not allow her kids to
play with him, and that he had better be off; so Smudge went off, and
played with his tail, turning round and round so quickly, trying to catch
it, that he became giddy, and could not walk straight until he had turned
round and round the other way to put himself right.
And now something had happened at Blackberry Farm, and of all the
animals in the yard Master Smudge was the only one who knew what that
something was; for he was the only animal allowed into the house, and
the something that had happened, had happened in the house, so Smudge
had opportunities that the other animals had not.
All that Mrs. Duck and her friends knew about the matter was, that
one fine morning Farmer Wurzel had driven to town in his dog-cart, and
had come back the next day in a closed carriage (a house on wheels the
ducklings called it, but, as they were only three days old, they didn't know'
any better), and that he had brought back with him a very strange bundle.
None of them had been able to see what was in the bundle, but they
saw that whatever it contained was alive, for when the farmer carried it
carefully into the house it moved. Then a strange gentleman used to come
to the farm every day, and each time he went away he would shake his head
and look very grave. And Farmer
Wurzel, who, as a rule, was a very merry
farmer, suddenly turned into a very
anxious-looking one. And Sarah, who .
had been a very jovial cook, as soon '''
as the bundle arrived became a very -
melancholy cook. And Biddy, who was '
a laughing dairy-maid, turned into a -- ;'
crying one, and the cow said that Farmer :
Wurzel would be taking to tinned milk
if Biddy's tears did not dry up so that
she could do her work properly.
Well, the bundle was a mystery, '
and the behaviour of Farmer Wurzel -
and the others was a mystery, and '
made the farm-yard animals so curious
[ 62 ]
that they could think and talk of nothing else. But thinking and talking
didn't solve the mystery, and the only animal who could do so was "that
puppy"-poor snubbed Master Smudge.
Mrs. Duck became quite desperate, and one morning, after the strange
gentleman had gone away looking graver than ever, she marched with her
seven children boldly into the kitchen, but it happened that Sarah had a
broom in her hand, so she brushed Mrs. Duck and the ducklings into the
yard, and told them that if they came there again she would cook them.
Then the little ducklings swam across the pond and asked the calf ii
he knew anything about this mysterious bundle, but the calf knew nothing,
but said he would ask the sheep, but the sheep didn't know, unless, perhaps,
it was her last year's wool, she said.
Then the calf trotted across the field, and, looking over the palings,
asked the pretty deer, who live in the park, if they knew anything of the
matter, but they hadn't even heard of the bundle, so the seven little ducks
swam home again just as wise as they were before they started.
"We shall have to condescend to know the puppy, I'm afraid, Mrs.
Duck," said Mrs. Nanny Goat to the leader of the poultry-fashions, "if we
are to discover what is taking place in the house."
"Ah, me I'm afraid we must, but it is very dreadful; the thing has
no manners at all, and is so rough. But solve the mystery we must. I
give you my word, Mrs. Nanny, that I haven't slept for three nights, and,
you will hardly believe me, I have lost my appetite for-for frogs."
"Dear me! And you were so very fond of them," said the Goat. "I
think the best thing to be done is to call a general meeting of the farm-
yard animals and hear what they all think of the matter, and what course
we ought to take."
So the two kids and the seven ducklings were sent off to collect the
animals, who soon came trooping to the spot where the goat was tethered
to the ground.
There were ducks and geese, and cocks and hens. There were pigs and
cows, cart-horses and turkeys, all met together to determine whether they
should speak to Master Smudge, and ask him to tell them all about the
mysterious bundle. And this they agreed to do after a great many speeches
and a great deal of excitement, caused by the geese having to be turned
away from the meeting because they did nothing but hiss at all the
speakers, and said that they wouldn't speak to the puppy to find out any
secrets; but, as they were only geese after all, their opinion was not
considered worth troubling about.
[ 63 ]
Well, you can quite understand how very much surprised Smudge must
have been when he came into the farm-yard the next morning. All the
animals were so amazingly civil.
"Quack! quack! Good morning, Mr. Smudge," said Mrs. Duck. "I hope
you feel quite well to-day."
'"Peep! peep !" said the seven little ducklings, who were not old enough
to say "quack" yet. "We hope you are quite well, Mr. Smudge."
"Thank you, ma'am, thank you, my dears, I'm not much different from
what I was yesterday; very well and jolly," replied Smudge.
[ 64 ]
He was so astonished that he ran to the pond and gazed at his reflection
in the water. "No," he said to himself, "I look just the same. What can
have happened to make them so civil?"
Wherever Smudge went in the yard he was treated with the greatest
politeness by all the animals except the geese, who, whenever he came near
them, held their heads very high in the air, and hissed louder than ever, and
often chased him to the kitchen-door. But the fowls made up for this rudeness
by bowing and scraping, and bringing the puppy bones whenever they found
In the afternoon Mrs. Duck and Mrs. Nanny-goat called another general
meeting, to which Smudge was invited; and was then asked to tell them all
about the mysterious bundle.
The puppy said he would be most charmed to tell them all he knew; so
when all had made themselves quite comfortable, Smudge cleared his throat
and began his story:-
"You know very well," commenced Master Smudge, "that Farmer Wurzel
went to town last week in the dog-cart. You also know that he came back
the next day in a shut-up carriage. You also know- "
"What's the good of your telling us what we know?" interrupted the
Geese, who had come to the meeting uninvited; for, if the truth must be
told, they were just as curious as the other animals. "You've been asked
here to tell us something we don't know."
"Hold your tongues!" cried all the other animals, "unless you wish to
be turned away again."
The geese, not wishing this to happen to them, kept their bills closed, and
Smudge proceeded with his story:-
"And you also know that he brought back with him a very peculiar
bundle. But none of you know what was in that bundle-don't be impatient
and you shall know in good time. After the Farmer had done his business
in the market and in the town, he went to the inn where the dog-cart was
put up and ordered his supper; for he had been at work all day and was very
hungry, and a very good supper he had. After his supper, and while the
horse was being put into the trap, Farmer Wurzel went for a short stroll;
and while he was looking up at the sky to see what sort of weather he would
have on his way home, his foot caught in something, and Farmer Wurzel
nearly tumbled down.
"He picked up his hat, which had fallen off, and looked at the some-
thing. It was a bundle. Further Wurzel looked into the bundle and gave a
cry of horror. Farmer Wurzel knew what was in that bundle, and so do I."
d4 leR,_,IDLe PLIGHT-.
[ 66 ]
Here the puppy stopped for a moment and looked round at the interested
faces. Not an animal said a word. Mrs. Duck stood first on one leg and
then on the other; she was too excited to stand still.
"And you shall know, too, in good time," continued Smudge. "'Dear,
dear, dear, dear me,' cried Farmer Wurzel, kneeling down by the bundle.
'Dear, dear, how can this have happened?' And then he very carefully
lifted up the bundle and took it to the inn. And there was a commotion;
waiters and maids were running here and running there. The ostler drove
away in Farmer Wurzel's dog-cart, and brought back a gentleman with him
to the inn. Well, and to make a long story short, Farmer Wurzel slept at
the inn that night, and drove here in the morning in a shut-up carriage
with that bundle. And as soon as it was in the house, Cook knew what was
inside of it, and Jane, and Biddy, and Tom, and Joe knew what was in that
bundle, and so did I, and so shall you know when the proper time comes."
At this stage of the narrative Mrs. Duck became hysterical, and had to be
led to the pond, where her head was held under the water until 'she revived,
when she remarked she was ready to hear the end of the story.
"Perhaps we had better put it off till to-morrow, if dear Mrs. Duck is
unwell ? said Smudge, smiling sweetly.
"No, no, no, no," cried all the animals. "She's all right now; you will
make her worse if you stop. Go on. Go on."
So Smudge went on.
"I will not keep you any longer in suspense. Why should I ? You
have all been so patient while I have been telling my story, and I am so
sorry that poor Mrs. Duck has been made ill by excitement. Now, hush for
one moment, and then talk as much as you like; hush, while I tell you
this wonderful secret, for wonderful it is! You will be surprised to hear
there was a little girl in that bundle. A little tiny girl. And what, you
ask, was the little girl doing in that bundle? I will tell you. She was
starving in it. Starving for want of food; starving for want of warmth. She
was dying in that bundle. So Farmer Wurzel brought her home and fed her,
and warmed her, took her out of that bundle and put her to bed, and she is
sleeping now in that room looking over this yard. And, although she is not
starving now, the strange gentleman who comes here every day, and who is a
doctor, looks very grave because he thinks she may be-she may be dying
Smudge said this in a very low voice. All the animals turned their
heads and looked at the window of the room, and then turned back their
heads and looked at the ground, but said nothing. Big tears trickled down
from the cow's soft eyes; the seven little ducklings nestled close to their
mother; the goat sighed, and looked anxiously at her kids; and the geese ,
looked as miserable as the rest.
S[ 68 ]
S"Is there nothing that we can do for her ?" at
last said Mrs. Duck, mournfully.
"Well, yes, I think there is," replied Smudge;
"I heard the doctor say that quiet is what she required.
sl"l "Let us all make as little noise as possible, and then,
Perhaps, she will get better."
S"A grand idea," they all said. "Yes, there should
be no noise in the farm-yard."
The meeting then sadly broke up and the animals
went quietly away.
"Good gracious," cried Farmer Wurzel, the next day. "What on earth
has come to all the animals, have they all caught cold in their heads ? "
It was enough to surprise any farmer. For the cock crowed in a
whisper, the cow mewed in a whisper, the duck quacked in a whisper, in
fact, all the animals who had anything to say, said it in a whisper.
And, grand to tell, whispers and food and warmth did good, for one
week after that general meeting, Smudge came scampering into the yard.
"Bow, wow-wow," he barked, by no means in a whisper; "the doctor
says she will not die. The doctor says she will live. Come, we can talk
loud now, three cheers for the baby in the bundle."
And the animals did cheer, not three times, but thirty times, each in his
own particular language.
One week more and Biddy brought the baby in the bundle out into the
farm-yard. Such a baby! Such blue eyes and golden hair! But still very
pale and weak.
One year more, and the baby in the bundle toddles into the farm-yard.
Such a baby! Her eyes are bluer, and her golden curly hair is longer, and
she is as plump as a partridge, and as rosy as an apple. And she holds on
to Smudge; not the Smudge of a year ago, but a fine, handsome colley dog,
beloved and respected by all the animals in the yard.
Farmer Wurzel, not being able to find
the father or mother of the baby in the
bundle, adopted her as his own little
daughter. And he, and everybody, and
every animal agreed with Mrs. Duck when
"Sage and onions! She is the best '
and sweetest little creature that I ever
did see. Sweeter even than frogs!"
Edric Vredenburg. \
ST is some years ago since I became intimate with those
mischievous mites called Monkeys, although I have been
acquainted with the funny little creatures, in a casual sort
of way, all my life. But I was not formally introduced to them
till long after I had passed what I may call "the young
| Monkey stage" of my own existence, and had taken to drawing
funny pictures to please you little people. But once, when I
wanted to draw something very funny indeed, I went to the Zoological Gardens
of the city in which I was then living, to paint a picture of monkeys, and
it was there that I got to know these queer little animals intimately.
Dear me! what a time I had in that Monkey-house The first little
fellow I tried to paint had a comical face, with bright brown eyes, and a very
long tail. He used to look at me out of the corner of those bright eyes, and
at first seemed very much interested in what I was doing, coming to the bars
of the cage and trying to get a peep at my picture. Then he would try to
steal my brushes, which was, of course, very naughty of him; and because I
wouldn't let him have them, would fling himself on the ground, and hide
his face in the straw, as much as to say, "Then I shan't play anymore."
But I was ready for him, and bribed him to be good by producing nuts from
my pocket. This had a grand effect. He sat cracking away for a good
half-hour or more, and I think he might have retained his good opinion of
me for some time longer if he had not, unfortunately, caught sight of his
portrait. He must evidently have thought it a bad one, and so got offended;
for he picked up a handful of sawdust, and running up the wires of his cage,
he threw it all over me, making hideous grimaces all the while.
I had to have recourse to more nuts, and some apples and cakes; and
at last "Dick"-for that was my little friend's name-and the three other
monkeys in the same cage, began to know me almost as well as they knew
their keeper, and would sit in a row whenever I made my appearance,
chattering like so many girls and boyp just out of school, and watching
eagerly to see what I had brought them. And although I believe they all
thought I had not painted Dick half handsome enough, I think they forgave
me on account of my good nature.
[ 70 ]
I painted a good many different sorts of monkeys after -that, and saw
some very funny things happen in the big cage, where there was quite a
crowd of comical fellows, both big and little.
One day a man put a ball of string into this cage, which was at once
pounced upon by one of the large monkeys, who, having found the end,
immediately began to unwind it; while another monkey, catching 'hold of
a piece that was hanging down, ran off with it. Then -one wee monkey
snatched hold of another bit, and a big monkey grabbed hold of another
piece; and so on, and so on, till they had unwound the- whole ball, and
it was in one great tangle all over the cage.
Then the mischief, and the noise, and worry began.
Gabble, gabble, gabble! Squeak, squeak, squeak! Scratch, scratch, scratch!
One after another they got caught, till half of them were tied up like
brown paper parcels. Then they all ran to the top of the cage to hold a
meeting protesting against balls of string and the people who put them
there; and I think they weIe quite ,
I got so fond of my little friends,
that at last I bought one and took
[ 71 ]
him home to live in a comfortable cage in ''
my studio. To live in a cage did I say? f .-'" ', '
But that was just the place where he did
not live; for he got so tame that he was
allowed to go just where he wanted, though '"
at first he broke a good many things, and .I.''. .
was always eating something that did not ,
agree with him. Then I had to give him ,i'.
physic, and it was a very difficult matter to .
make him take it, I can assure you; but I -
remembered how the late Mr. Frank Buckland, :
the great naturalist, used to treat his pet I'f^,^
monkeys. Whenever one of them wanted --
doctoring, Mr. Buckland would get a bottle -'': ",
and let the patient watch him mix up the "-. .- -
dose, and then he would go and pretend to
hide it behind some books or something, just as it he didn't want
anybody to know where it was, the monkey watching him very slyly
all the time; and as soon as Mr. Buckland went out he would go
and get the bottle, taste what was in it, and generally empty it. I
tried this plan with" "Nuts"-that was the name of my little fellow-and
it was nearly always successful.
But his great delight was to get a looking glass, (one of those small hand
glasses) with which he would sit and admire himself, and smile, and grin, and nod,
and make faces until we could not help laughing at him; and then he would
get into a rage and run up the curtains, and scold us from the curtain-pole.
When the Winter came we bought Nuts a companion, another monkey
called Pat, and the two would sit before the fire wanning their hands and
toasting their toes just as you or I would have done. But Pat was too full
of mischief, so had to be sent away.
The next Summer we went into the country to stay with some friends,
but as our friends didn't invite the monkey, Nuts was left at home. And
fancy our dismay on hearing that our little favourite was, lost. He was
hunted for high and low, we advertised in the papers, and offered rewards fom
his recovery, but it was no good, and it was months before we saw him again.
But one day, when I was stopping in a town miles and miles from where
I lived, I was attracted by a crowd round an Italian organ-man, who had a
performing monkey. I stopped to look at the poor little thing in a red
jacket and a hat and feathers, turning somersaults on the muddy road, when
[ 72 ]
suddenly he caught sight of me, and with one jump snatched the chain that
held him out of the man's hand, and bounding up on to my shoulder, put
both arms round my neck and began rubbing his face against mine.
It was poor little Nuts !
The organ-man was very indignant at my claiming my pet, and brought a
"How do you know," said the policeman, "that this monkey is yours ?"
"Keep the organ-man and the monkey here for a few minutes and I will
prove it," said I, and I hurried off to a confectioner's near at hand, and brought
a few sweet biscuits, which I put into my waistcoat pocket.
"Nuts," said I, when I got back to where the poor little fellow was fairly
shrieking at the idea of losing me again. "Where are the cakes?"
In an instant he was up at my pocket, and brought out the biscuits, to
the great amusement of the policeman and the crowd that had gathered round.
The organ-man (who I found out afterwards had been seen in the neigh-
bourhood of my house the day Nuts was lost) thought it was time to be
off, so shouldered his organ and went away without another word.
Fancy the delight of everybody at home when Nuts made his appear-
ance on the dining-room table that evening! But none of us were more
delighted than our little pet himself, who turned somersaults, for teh minutes
at least, all over the hearth-rug.
R. K. Mounsey.