Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 The little brown bird: A story...
 Bertel and Baldwin: A story of...
 Back Cover

Group Title: The little brown bird : a story of industry.
Title: The little brown bird
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00053302/00001
 Material Information
Title: The little brown bird a story of industry
Physical Description: 63 p., 1 leaf of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 16 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Blackie & Son ( Publisher )
Publisher: Blackie & Son
Place of Publication: London ;
Glasgow ;
Edinburgh ;
Publication Date: [1882?]
Subject: Diligence -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Success -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Brothers -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1882   ( lcsh )
Prize books (Provenance) -- 1882   ( rbprov )
Bldn -- 1882
Genre: Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Prize books (Provenance)   ( rbprov )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Scotland -- Glasgow
Scotland -- Edinburgh
Ireland -- Dublin
General Note: Frontispiece printed in colors.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00053302
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002233086
notis - ALH3488
oclc - 05388815

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
    Title Page
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 3
        Page 4
    The little brown bird: A story of industry
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
    Bertel and Baldwin: A story of two brothers
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51-62
        Page 63
    Back Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
Full Text



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N a little straggling town, that has, so far
as we know, not yet found its way into
any map, and of course whose name it is of
no use to mention, there lived at one time a
poor weaver, named Wilhelm Threadstuff, with
his two sons, Klem and Carl. When the two
boys grew big enough they assisted their father
at the loom; but then, this village of No Name,
as we may call it, was so small and insignifi-
cant, that little work found its way into it,
and money came but slowly into the hands of
the weaver, and it became rather a hard matter
for him sometimes to make both ends meet.
Better days, however, arrived-the weaver
and his boys managed to get along pretty well,


and things seemed to look brighter. The father,
having gathered a little money together, made
up his mind to visit a few relations who lived
about a hundred miles to the south-west of
No Name, partly to see how they were getting
on, but principally to lay in a stock of work
to keep himself and his boys employed during
the dull season.
The night before the old man set out on his
journey he had a talk with Klem and Carl;
and as what he said to them is of great interest
to the Klems and Carls of other fathers, we
have had it all written down, and we ask our
young readers to listen to it, assuring them
that they will have nothing to regret by doing
so, but perhaps be thankful for it when they
grow older.
"Boys," said old Wilhelm, "before I leave
home I have something to tell you which I am
sure will interest you. You must know that
in this village there is a little bird which hops


about on nearly every tree. Its name is 'I
Have.' It is not a very pretty bird, but it is
very tame; and if you go the right way about
it, you can easily lay hold of it. When you
have once caught this bird, and placed it in a
nice warm nest in a corner, it will lay a golden
egg every day, and, more than that, it will sing
beautifully the whole day long, and cheer you
on with your work. This bird can usually be
caught not very far from where you are sitting
now, and if you can once secure it, and treat it
well, the golden eggs which it will lay will be
a fortune for you."
"When Klem and Carl heard this they were
surprised and also delighted at what their
father had said, and expressed their determina-
tion at once to secure this wonderful bird with
the strange name. It must be mentioned that
Klem was rather an unsettled youth, and not
over fond of work. When the father saw that
he had excited the attention of his boys about


this bird "I Have," and roused their desire to
capture it, he added-
"Oh, by the way, lads, you must be careful.
I must tell you that there is another bird
which very closely resembles the one I have
mentioned in appearance, but -in reality it is
entirely different. When you go to catch the
one you must be careful not to lay hold of the
other. It is called '0, Had I.' This bird can
speak, and it will, when caught, promise almost
anything; but there is a difficulty in securing
it. I know, from sad experience, that many
persons have lost their lives in pursuit of 'O,
Had I;' and my best advice to you both is to
have nothing to do with it, but to be content,
if you possibly can do it, to lay 'salt upon the
tail,' as the saying is, of 'I Have.'"
Klem and Carl immediately expressed their
willingness to observe their father's injunctions,
and the next day old Wilhelm left the village
of No Name to visit his relations, leaving his


two boys to act as they thought best during
his absence. As soon as he had gone, therefore,
Klem and Carl consulted together as to what
they should do to gain possession of this won-
derful bird 'I Have,' which was to make them
rich by laying golden eggs. Klem, who, as we
have already said, was rather of an excitable
disposition, was anxious to start at once in the
search; but Carl, who was a prudent fellow,
said he would finish what work he had to do
first, and then go after the bird. Carl's idea
was that the bird he had in hand was quite as
good as the one he might probably find in the
bush; and an idea like this not unfrequently
proves to be a right one. He recommended
Klem to complete his task also, but he would
listen to no such advice.
"What," said he, "do you think I am such a
fool as to let this valuable bird slip through
my fingers? No, no, I shall lay my hands
upon it at once, and then I shall be a made


man for life. By the way, Carl," he continued,
"as you are such a slow-going boy, it is just
possible you may be in want of a few pounds
some day. Well, then, you come to me, and I
will let you have them-only, I think you are
a great fool not to come with me and get them
He called him a poor, mean-spirited fellow,
to go slaving on for a few paltry shillings,
while by stirring himself, and going with him
at once in search of this treasure-bird, which,
perhaps, after all, was at this very moment
singing on the hedge opposite their own door,
and could be easily caught.
"Yes," said Carl, beginning to wince under
the hard words of his brother, "if we only
knew the right place to seek him."
"Oh, I'll find that out," replied Klem confi-
dently. "But if we do not go quickly some
one will be before us. So if you are coming,
come along at once, or I will set off alone."


After talking in this style for some time
Klem's impatience and cutting remarks pre-
vailed over Carl's prudence; and, although he
inwardly resolved not to spend too much time
in the search for 'I Have,' but to return home
and finish his work, he at last consented to
accompany his brother. They filled two small
bags with bread and meat, carefully locked the
door of their cottage, and set out on what may
be called their race for riches.
They walked on for some distance in silence,
anxiously listening for the least sound of a
bird's voice, and several times mistaking the
cries of very common birds for that of the one
they were in search of. Their father had given
them no exact description of "I Have;" but
while Carl remembered that he had told them
it was not a handsome bird, Klem, whose
imagination was excited by the brilliant account
of "O, Had I," confused the two, and was de-
cidedly of opinion that a bird which could lay


golden eggs must necessarily be handsome in
its plumage and appearance.
Time and distance sped on, and having spent
the whole day unsuccessfully, the two brothers
made up a bed of leaves under a large tree,
where they slept soundly all night. Carl was
awake betimes next morning, and shook Klem
up, telling him that the birds would soon be
leaving their nests, and then they would have
a good opportunity of catching them. Accord-
ingly, they took up their position among the
trees and waited anxiously till the feathered
songsters came forth from their places of re-
pose, and filled the morning air with their
Presently a peculiar twittering arose from
the boughs near them, and forth from the dew-
laden leaves came, one after the other, troops
of little minstrels, singing and chirping in the
fulness of their happiness and freedom.
The brothers had provided themselves with


nets, which they carefully spread, and in the
course of a very short time they secured a
large number of little birds, fondly hoping
that among them might be the one which they
so eagerly desired to possess. On examining
them, however, they found them all ordinary
birds, and knew every one of them as being
quite common to the country, and also, that
whatever might be the value of the eggs which
they laid, they certainly were not worth their
weight in gold. A little examination satisfied
the boys that "I Have" was not among their
feathered prisoners; and greatly disappointed
at their first failure, they set them at liberty,
and tried again and again, but with no greater
Several days passed over in this manner
and Carl began to feel discouraged. He felt
sorry that he had not remained at home and
attended to his work, and thought to himself
that he was a fool for having set out on such


a wild-goose chase. He reminded Klem that
their father had said "I Have" was generally
found near home, while they had wandered
many miles away from it, and the farther they
travelled the more they appeared to be unsuc-
cessful. "Let us go home again, Klem," said
he. "Perhaps father will tell us more about
these wonderful birds, and we can come again
at a more favourable season-perhaps they do
not fly'at this particular season of the year."
But Klein would not listen to such a pro-
posal. No; he was neither a fool nor a coward.
Carl could do as he pleased; but for his part,
he should persevere, and he boldly said that
lie had not the slightest intention of returning
home without one or other, or perhaps both of
these wonderful birds. He ridiculed his brother
for losing his courage so soon, and expressed
his opinion that he was nothing but a fool,
and that he would never be anything but a
poor weaver, working hard from morning to


night, and barely earning enough to keep him-
self in food, as long as he lived.
While they were thus wrangling with one
another, a sudden rush of melody startled
them, and looking up, they beheld a beautiful
bird, of a kind they had never seen before,
sitting on the topmost branch of a very high
tree. It was singing delightfully, and its
brilliant plumage, which appeared to be of a
thousand different hues, shone brightly in the
At this sight both of the brothers' hearts
beat fast. Surely this must be the very bird
they had been so long and anxiously seeking
for? It could be no other; and they imme-
diately spread their nets so as to entrap it.
This, however, was easier resolved upon than
accomplished. The beautiful bird was very
wary and cautious, and while it carolled forth
its melodious song, it carefully kept itself
beyond reach of the dangerous nets. True, it


hopped about, and occasionally floated on its
outspread wings to within a few feet of where
Carl and Klem were hiding. It cast its peer-
ing eyes straight into the very place where
they had concealed themselves, and seemed to
say something to them in a mocking tone;
and when the boys made almost sure they had
him, he eluded their grasp, and, soaring away
to another tree, he poured forth such a flood
of melody, that the brothers were inspired
with fresh ardour, and immediately determined
to pursue and capture him at all hazards.
Gradually and imperceptibly the youths
felt themselves being led on and on after this
bewildering bird; but as often as they almost
appeared to be able to lay their hands upon
him, he was up and away again, only to tan-
talize them by repeating the same movements
again and again.
Well, this went on for a considerable time,
and at length Carl began to think it was im-


possible to secure this attractive bird. He
suddenly, however, remembered his father's
warning, and immediately felt convinced that
the bird they were pursuing was none other
than the deceptive "0, Had I!"
He told Kleli what he thought, and urged
him to abandon such a hopeless pursuit; but
his brother would not listen to a single word
he said. While they were talking together,
the fascinating bird perched itself on a branch
just a few feet from where they were stand-
ing, and Klem distinctly heard it-at least, he
said he did-repeat words something like the
following, in the song which it trolled forth:-

Klem, Klem, follow, follow me,
Follow, and catch me, and cage me;
Let Carl go home if he please;
And while he starves and begs
I will lay you golden eggs,
And then you can enjoy every ease."

On hearing this Klem cast a look of triumph
(114) B

at his brother, and rushed forward with out-
stretched arms to capture the wonderful bird,
but in a moment it was up and away beyond
his reach, but seemed to urge him by its song
still to continue the pursuit. Carl, now con-
vinced more than ever that they were only
chasing the dangerous O, Had I," now became
resolute, and at once making up his mind, he
bade his brother farewell, and turned his steps
towards home. As he trudged rapidly home-
wards he frequently turned round to look at
Klem, and shouted to him to return along
with him; but it was of no use. The way-
ward Klem turned a deaf ear to all entreaties
and advice, and Carl soon lost sight of him in
the turnings of the road.
On returning to his father's cottage Carl
immediately set to work and plied his loom
industriously so as to make up for the time he
had lost in the futile pursuit of the birds. He
also resolved to abandon all thoughts of them,


for, at least, some time to come. He had
plenty of work in hand, and now that Klem
was not at home to assist him he had to work
late and early in order to prevent his employers
finding fault with him.
Carl did not say anything to his neighbours
about where he had been, and in a few days
they ceased to wonder at his long absence, or
even to ask any questions. As they began,
however, to hear the steady "click, click of
Carl's loom from early dawn until far on into
the night, they began to think among them-
"What a diligent, hard-working fellow
young Carl Threadstuff is. If he continues
to work like this he will certainly be a wealthy
man in a very short time. Nay, he may even
rise to be burgomaster;" and, as if to show
that their opinions were not merely empty
compliments, every one seemed more eager
than another to put work into his hands.

Although Carl was thus almost overwhelmed
with work, he never for a moment thought of
turning any of it out in an inferior manner,
or of hurrying it so as to injure it in any way.
On the contrary, he thought to himself, My
good neighbours, by sending me so much
work, are showing very great confidence in
me. If I do not abuse their favour my good
name will become known to other friends, and
by-and-by, if I continue to let none but the
very best of work pass from my loom, my
very name will be a guarantee for the excel-
lence of my webs." So as he turned out his
work well, so was he well paid for it; and as
he was now so fully occupied, he had no time
to go in search of "I Have," and gradually
he almost ceased to think about it altogether.
Carl, being of very simple habits, did not
spend much money on himself, and was soon
able to lay past a little almost every day.
He thought, by doing this, that when his


father returned, although he might be angry
with him for not having gone after the won-
derful birds, he would not be so unreasonable as
to blame him altogether, if he could show him
a goodly store of savings.
One beautiful morning in the height of
summer Carl was sitting by the open window
at his loom busily throwing the shuttle, and
singing at the same time to make it fly regu-
larly. Suddenly he heard a pleasant chirrup-
ing melody almost close to his ear. Looking
round, he saw, perched on the end of his loom,
a little homely-looking brown bird, with bright
black eyes, singing and chirruping away in the
merriest and most pleasant manner possible-
indeed more like an old neighbour than a
newly come stranger. Carl was both surprised
and amused at the familiar conduct of the
little fellow, and holding out his hand in a
friendly way towards it, he said, never think-
ing the bird would hear or understand him-


Come along, my little birdie; you are quite
a sociable companion. Come and have a few
crumbs, and sing me another song."
To his pleasant amazement the little brown
bird immediately obeyed the summons, and
seating itself upon Carl's shoulder, began to
sing and warble in such an irresistibly amus-
ing manner, that the listener was perfectly
delighted; and when he had finished his song,
he was rewarded with a handful of sweet
crumbs, Carl hoping by doing this he might
induce him to remain. The little bird joyfully
picked up the crumbs, and hovered round the
open window all the day. Now it cheered the
weaver with a song, next it twittered and
flitted about from bough to bough within
sight, then it would pertake of a few crumbs,
for which, in turn again, it would express its
thankfulness in another song. Carl chirruped
and whistled to it, and the wise little bird
seemed to understand everything he meant,


as it shook or cocked its head from side to
side, as much as to say, You are quite right,
Mr. Weaver, I perfectly agree with all you say."
As the night began to approach, Carl made
up a nice comfortable nest for his little friend,
and invited him to take possession of it, which
he at once did with a flutter of gratitude.
After this the little brown bird became Carl's
constant companion; it cheered him all day
long with its merry, joyful song, ate its crumbs
from his hand, perched itself on his shoulder
as he sat at the loom, and displayed generally
the greatest fondness and affection for its
newly found master.
One day when Carl and his bird had been
enjoying each other's company very much, the
weaver said to it-
I do not know, my little bird, where you
came from, or who you are, but I would not
exchange your pleasant chirrup and sweet
voice for all the 'I Haves' in the world, and


all the golden eggs ever they laid in their
On hearing this the little bird appeared to
become greatly excited, and flew to its nest
singing and trilling with such evident delight,
that Carl was fain to raise his hand as if to
beg of it not to be so flurried.
"My pretty birdie," said he, "I do not mean
to disturb your rest. I can do without your
eggs. I have plenty for all my wants, and
can save something into the bargain, and what
you eat will certainly not ruin me. I am sure
that when my father returns, and knows what
I now possess, and listens to your cheerful
voice, he will not regret my not having gone
after 'I Have' and '0, Had I.' Heigh-ho! I
wonder what has become of poor Klem! I
wish he would come back, so that we might
all be happy together again;" and here the
little brown bird gave a chirrup, as much as
to say, "And so do I too, I am sure."


Many months had now passed away since
Carl had parted company with Klem, as al-
ready narrated, and nothing had been heard
of him, although he was always thinking about
him, and wondering what could have become
of his wayward brother. One evening as he
was sitting at his cottage door, after the close
of a hard day's work, he observed his father
approaching quite unexpectedly, as he had
had no communication from him for some
time. However, this did not matter; there he
was now, and Carl instantly rose and hastened
to meet him, and joyful salutations were passed
between them.
Ah! Carl, my son," said the old man, cheer-
fully, "I am glad to tell you I have brought
plenty of work with me. The fame of your
excellent workmanship and industry has
spread. abroad, and we shall never again be
idle as long as we live and have health."
SAfter Wilhelm had narrated all his adven-


tures during his absence from home, Carl, in
his turn, told him all that had occurred during
the same period. The father was greatly
distressed when he heard about the disappear-
ance of Klem.
"Father," said Carl, "I strove hard for him
to return home with me, but he scarcely
listened to me. But, father," he continued, "I
have here a dear little bird, that now I do not
care to be possessed of even the other bird you
told us of-I mean the one you called 'I
Have.'" As he said this, the little brown bird,
who seemed to have been listening to him,
hopped from its nest on to his shoulder, and
sung a merry song, in which Carl, to his great
amazement, plainly made out these words:-
My nest it soon will break,
I have filled it for your sake.
You must build me up another,
Quite as soft as the other;
And through the live-long day,
While you're working hard away,

You never shall get weary,
And I'll sing to keep you cheery,
Cheery, cheery,, cheery !"

As the last sound faded away, behold! a
shower of golden eggs came rolling down upon
Carl's loom! The bird began again to sing,
while Carl looked perfectly astounded, as his
father picked up the golden eggs which were
rolling over the floor. Why, Carl had been
possessed of the very bird itself "I Have" ever
since that morning it hopped in at the open
window, and he had never been aware of it!
Carl lost no time in preparing a nice new,
soft, warm nest for his little brown bird; and
so comfortable did I Have" find his fresh
quarters that he lived with Carl all his life-
that is, all Carl's life-for the little brown bird
is alive to this day. Carl died at a good old
age, and "I Have" sung a song of exultant
melody on the day of the funeral, as though
to express that his good friend the weaver, in


addition to his riches on earth, had laid up
never-failing riches above, and that he was now
about to enter upon the enjoyment of them.
Thus, it will be seen, the little brown bird
-the wonderful "I Have "-made Carl con-
tented and rich during life, and happy in
As for poor Klem, nothing was ever heard
of him; and it is just possible that he may
be still pursuing the alluring, but deceptive
bird, "0, Had I" even to this very day.



K POOR man was dying, and at his bed-
side stood his two young sons weeping
bitterly, for they knew that, when their
father was taken from them, they would not
have a friend left in the world except each other.
The father tried to comfort them, and, taking
a small box from under his pillow, he said to
them faintly-
"My poor boys, this little box contains all
that I am able to leave you. In it, after I
have gone from among you, you will find a
golden root and a little brown seed, either of
which, if properly planted and tended, will
grow into a great tree, and produce fruit to
maintain you comfortably as long as you live.


To you, Bertel, as the eldest, I give the golden
root: if you plant it in good ground it will
grow rapidly and bear golden fruit of great
value and very precious. The little brown
seed, Baldwin, will fall to your share. You
must also plant it with care, and, although it
will not grow so rapidly as Bertel's golden root,
still it will in the long run produce good fruit,
not so brilliant and beautiful as your brother's,
but almost as valuable. I would like you, my
dear boys, to plant your two trees nearly close
together, and cultivate them equally between
you. By so doing you will improve them both;
but should you ever resolve to separate, you
have each the power to attain prosperity." And
as he uttered these words, the old man closed
his eyes and bade farewell to this world, to the
great and nearly inconsolable grief of the two
brothers, Bertel and Baldwin.
As soon as the boys had an opportunity of
opening the little box, Bertel grasped at the


golden root which was to bring him such good
fortune. It looked like a thin piece of rough
gold, of no particular shape, and could easily
be bent in the hand. Baldwin then sought for
the little brown seed which was to bring him
a fortune. It had got fixed in a corner, and
it was some time before he could find it; but
when he did pickit out it had rather a disap-
pointing appearance, looking, as it did, as like
a poor peppercorn as possible. As he placed it
on the palm of his hand to have a better view
of it, Bertel burst into a loud laugh, and said-
"I am afraid, Baldwin, it will be many a
long day before that seed grows into a fortune.
You had better be careful and not drop it, lest
one of the chickens picks it up. Ha, ha!"
Baldwin said nothing. In truth he was dis-
appointed, and he felt rather inclined to envy
the golden root of his brother.
Bertel was, indeed, proud of his root, and he
exultingly displayed it to all who came near

him. "Ah!" said he, "this is something to pos-
sess, even if I should never put it in the ground
to become a tree. With this piece of gold in
my hand every one will think me rich."
"But, Bertel," replied Baldwin, "you* must
not forget what our father said. We were to
plant our legacies immediately, so that we may
gather the fruit of each the sooner. I will
plant my little brown seed at once, and I would
advise you to do the same with your golden root."
But Bertel, who was a very self-willed youth,
thought different. He had, he said, plenty of
time to plant it, and so went round about among
the neighbours proudly displaying his rough
piece of gold which was to bring him a fortune.
They all admired it; some envied it; others re-
commended him to keep it, saying that if he
planted it in the ground it would simply
moulder away; but a few of the wise ones
shook their heads, and said-
"Bertel is giving himself very great airs


since he became possessed of this 'mighty'
piece of gold. The way to make gold grow is
not to keep it always in the hand or the pocket,
but to plant it so that it will grow; and there
are more ways than one of planting it. Bertel,
if he does not plant his piece at once, as his
father told him he should, will very soon find.
it of little use, if, indeed, he does not lose it
Early in the morning Baldwin sought a place
in the small garden behind the cottage where
he could plant his little brown seed. He se-
lected a spot where the morning sun fell warm
and bright, and which was protected from
storms by a high hedge. Here, after well dig-
ging the soil, he carefully planted his seed, and
fenced it carefully round so as to prevent it
from being trodden upon or scratched up. He
then watered it plentifully, and, feeling satis-
fied that he had performed his part properly,
he sat down to rest.
(114) C

Presently he was joined by Bertel.
"What, Baldwin," said he, "have you planted
your seed already? Well, perhaps it is as well:
it will take a long time to grow, if it ever does
at all. However, I think I may as well plant
my golden root also. But, Baldwin, I am very
tired this morning. Now, you have been dig-
ging already, and I know you like working in
the garden-suppose you plant it for me. Do,
there's a good fellow."
"With all my heart, Bertel," said his good-
natured brother; and he forthwith planted the
golden root on a spot which Bertel selected.
lie fenced it and watered it as carefully as he
did his own little brown seed, and the boys
then went and had a nice breakfast of bread
and milk.
But while the trees were growing the boys
had to live, and in order to live they had to
work. They both succeeded in obtaining em-
ployment, which just enabled them to procure


very humble support, and left little or nothing
over. Baldwin worked steadily: he knew it
would be a long time before his tree bore fruit,
even if it ever grew and flourished, of which,
it must be said, he himself had occasionally
some doubt; and in the meantime he must take
care of himself. Bertel, on the other hand,
indulged in idle dreams of what he would do
and where he would go when his wonderful
fortune came into his possession, and was far
less industrious than his brother.
Every evening after work was over Baldwin
carefully watered and weeded his little brown
seed, and for several days Bertel did the same.
Neither root nor seed, however, gave any signs
of life in appearing above ground, and Bertel
grew careless and neglected his golden root;
but Baldwin persevered, and did everything
he could to prosper his little brown seed.
Going into the garden one morning before
setting out to work, Baldwin was delighted to


observe a tiny green leaf forcing its way
through the ground. Greatly pleased, he called
Bertel to look at it, which he did, with mingled
feelings of envy and pleasure. He then turned
to his own golden root, expecting to find quite
a tall shoot there; but to his great disappoint-
ment there was no appearance of life about it,
and the ground was baked hard and dry with
the heat of the sun.
He felt that this was all owing to his own
carelessness, and hastened to water the root,
consoling himself with the reflection that when
his root fairly started it would very soon out-
strip his brother's! Sure enough, a few days
afterwards he was rewarded by seeing a little
green sprout come up, and was perfectly elated
with joy.
Baldwin, meanwhile, carefully tended his
little plant; he kept the earth carefully loosened
about the roots, and did not allow any weeds
to grow near it; while every night and morn-



ing he watered it plentifully. With such care
it soon became a thrifty and hardy plant, and
began to shoot forth leaves. Though now full
of hope for the future Baldwin never neglected
his work, but continued as industrious as ever.
One day a tremendous hail-storm occurred,
accompanied by a whirling wind which seemed
to blow from every point of the compass at the
same time. Baldwin was at work at the time,
but he trembled for his precious plant, which
was yet too young to stand much rough usage.
When evening came he hurried home, and
found his worst fears realized; the wind had
snapped off the leaves and the top, and the
hailstones had beaten it to the ground.
He felt inclined to weep at this misfortune,
but being a brave-hearted boy, he at once
thought it would do no good to give way to
tears, and instantly set to work to put matters
right again as fast as he could. Tenderly rais-
ing the bruised stem he supported it between


strips of wood, making a framework on which
it could rest, while he carefully banked up the
earth about its roots. After a little time the
plant revived again, and soon put forth fresh
leaves and shoots.
Bertel, during this time, was far from being
as careful as his brother. He thought Baldwin
took a great deal of trouble which was not
really necessary; and he flattered himself that
since the golden root had fairly started, it
would grow up without any further care. He
watered it irregularly, and pruned the weeds
from it but seldom. Of course, with such treat-
ment as this, the plant grew but slowly, and
could not for a moment compare with the
strength and freshness of Baldwin's plant.
Bertel was provoked at this; and not attribut-
ing the failure of the plant to his own negli-
gence, imagined that the spot on which it stood
could not be a favourable one; he transplanted
it to another part of the garden. This, of course,


retarded the growth for some time longer, and
he had the constant mortification of seeing his
brother's plant far surpass his own in strength,
freshness, and height.
Vexed that his valuable golden root should
be thus outstripped by a paltry little brown
seed, he went at last diligently to work, and
soon, by watchful care, the golden root began
to shoot vigorously up, and began to spread
into a tree of surpassing beauty. After a time
tiny buds appeared among the leaves, and
Bertel, of course, was perfectly overjoyed. He
felt himself already rich, and passed day after
day beneath the shade of the tree, watching
the swelling buds, and fancying he could ob-
serve the bright golden hue of the fruit shining
through them.
While Bertel was thus progressing prosper-
ously, poor Baldwin was doomed to trouble
and disappointment. His plant had barely
recovered from the shock of the hail-storm,


when a severe hurricane wrested it from the
earth by the roots, and cast it, broken and
bruised, upon the ground. Baldwin, however,
was not disheartened at this: he sought a more
sheltered spot, and replanted his tree with the
greatest care, and tended it with unwearied
patience. In the end he was rewarded by
seeing it again flourish, until it grew handsome
and healthy, and exhibiting strong symptoms
of abounding in fruit, although the buds were
very long in making their appearance.
Week after week passed on, and people
flocked from far and near to admire and
wonder at Bertel's beautiful golden tree. Cer-
tainly many of the buds and leaves had fallen
off, but the golden apples which remained were
very, very beautiful-nothing like them had
ever been seen in that part of the country
As for poor Baldwin, his tree attracted little
or no notice. It looked like a fine apple-tree,


but nothing more; and many were the jests
and gibes which his brother heaped upon him
for the time and labour he had spent in rear-
ing it, and its shabby return for all his atten-
tion. To all this Baldwin said nothing. He
had a good opinion of his tree in his own
mind, and he thought he could afford to laugh
at his brother's ridicule. True, the appearance
of the tree was not in its favour; but, thought
he, appearances are not everything, and they
are very often deceitful. He saw that it pro-
mised to bear a good crop of fruit; that al-
though of slow growth, it gave evidence of
perfection in its kind; so he worked quietly
and hopefully on.
If Bertel had worked at his tree as much
as he admired, it would have been better for
both of them. But when he was idly specu-
lating upon the fortune it would bring him,
and what he would do with it, the clustering
foliage was completely shrouding the fruit


from the heat of the sun; and thus, when he
had been hoping to see an abundance of beau-
tiful and precious golden apples, they shrunk
up and dropped off one by one, until a single
solitary apple was all that remained. This one
Bertel watched with the most painful anxiety,
as day after day it ripened in the bright sun-
shine. At last his desire to pluck it became
so intense that he could wait no longer; and
one day he pulled it from its stem, anxious to
determine the value of his treasure. It was
indeed a beautiful apple, and also of great
value. Every one who saw it praised it, and
perhaps none more so than his i1 -. 1i 1 brother
Baldwin. He advised Bertel to take it to a
dealer in precious articles, being sure that he
would obtain a high price for it, not only for
the gold itself, but for its value as a curiosity.
Bertel at once set out in high hopes; but he
returned in a very short time quite disap-
pointed. The dealer had discovered many


flaws in the golden apple; he had others in
his possession which were perfect in every
way, because they had been allowed to hang
their full time on the tree-this one, he said,
had been plucked too soon, and, of course, was
not worth nearly so much as it would have
been if it had been allowed to come to
maturity. He bought it, however, but at a
far less price than Bertel had expected. He
gave him a piece of advice into the bargain,
to the effect that he should cultivate his tree
more carefully, and that no doubt it would in
time yield him much beautiful and valuable
All this was perfectly true; but Bertel de-
clared that the soil did not suit the tree, and
that was the reason of its failure; so di __;!-
up his golden root, he had it placed in a huge
box upon wheels. He bade his brother good-
bye, saying he would return before long in a
coach of gold, laden with treasures and hon-


ours; and then he set forth to find a fitting
place to plant his golden root once more.
He travelled until he came to a pleasant
and warm country, where the sun seemed
always to shine, and where the winds and
rains were tempered with the greatest nicety.
Here he purchased a small plot of ground, and
planted his golden root for the third time. It
immediately began to flourish; and as he
made no secret of possessing it, the fame of
the wonderful tree soon reached the ears of a
benevolent gentleman, who owned one himself
from which he had derived a considerable
fortune. Bertel was so proud of his tree that
he invited this gentleman to come and see it;
he accepted the invitation, and found the lazy
owner reclining beneath his tree, idly enjoying
its beauty.
"My good young friend," said the visitor,
"your tree is indeed very beautiful, but it
stands sadly in want of pruning. It is far


too luxuriant; you will improve it in every
way if you cut off all these long branches."
"What!" answered Bertel in surprise, as
such a notion never had entered his head,
"what, do you want me to spoil my tree? No,
no, I then should have no fruit."
Your fruit, on the contrary, Mr. Bertel,"
replied the gentleman quietly, "will then be
perfect. Believe me, I speak from great ex-
perience of this matter when I say that trees,
such as yours, require the most constant and
unwearied attention. Year after year the
fruit dropped from my tree unripened, before
I discovered that my own ignorant careless-
ness only was to blame for it. By properly
cultivating it, however, I have now been able
to realize a handsome fortune."
"Well," said Bertel, beginning to think
there must be something in the remarks of
his visitor, "what would you advise me to


"You must prune these branches," was the
answer, "and strip off a great many of these
superabundant leaves. They are very beauti-
ful, no doubt, but they only serve to keep the
sun from the fruit. Then you must loosen
the soil about the roots, and carefully remove
all the weeds: and above all, you must water
it carefully and regularly, and not allow any
insects to settle upon and injure it. If," con-
tinued the gentleman, with a twinkle in his
eye, "you do all this properly, you will have
very little time to repose in its shade, but when
the fruit ripens you will have an ample reward
for all your labour."
This advice, however, was not relished by
Bertel. "1My golden tree will then be not of
such great value after all, if it requires so
much time and labour! Why, my brother
Baldwin's little brown seed grew into a tree
by dint of constant care; but with this golden
root I should be a simpleton indeed to make


myself a slave, toiling early and late. No, no,
my tree is a very superior one to yours, and
I have no doubt it will flourish well enough
and bear plenty of fruit if I leave it to
His adviser only smiled at the folly of his
young neighbour, and bidding him good-day,
took his departure.
But, alas! for Bertel's wilful pride, the tree
budded in time, but nearly all the fruit
withered and dropped off as it had done before.
"What little remained was stunted and blem-
ished, and he found difficulty in disposing of
it even at low prices. Having boasted that
his tree would greatly excel his neighbour's he
was greatly mortified at this result, and in a
fit of passion and shame combined he pulled
up his tree once more and hastened from the
city. After journeying many days he came to a
country where the golden fruit seemed to be
almost unknown, and where his tree was looked


upon by the people with astonishment and
delight. They flattered the vanity of Bertel
by flattering him on being the possessor of
such a valuable tree, and as he loved flattery
he thought it would be a nice thing for him
to settle among people who thought so much
of him, and he accordingly secured a piece of
ground,'where he again planted his golden tree.
Though he had scorned the advice of the
old gentleman at the time, he had not for-
gotten it, so he determined now to avail him-
self of it. He therefore attended his tree with
extreme care, and was rewarded by seeing it
flourish and prosper better than ever. The
buds expanded beautifully, and the fruit rip-
ened and glowed in the sun. The king at
length heard of the wonderful tree, and sent
for Bertel that he might question him. The
young man knew the value of the king's
favour, and selecting one of the finest apples
he carried it with him and presented it to his


majesty. The king was delighted with the
beautiful gift, and ordered it to be placed in
his treasury, and the giver of it to be installed
in apartments in the palace.
Bertel had now attained the height of his
ambition. The favourite of a king, and pos-
sessor of a tree which yielded him unbounded
treasure-what more could a mortal desire!
He might indeed, have been happy if he had
been blessed with a little prudence; but excited
by success, he abandoned himself to pleasure,
taking no further heed of his tree than to
pluck its golden fruit as it ripened. He
wasted his wealth recklessly, never reflecting
that the source of all his present gratification
and honours would perish if not properly cared
But at last he was brought to a sense of his
folly; he had plunged heavily into debt, trust-
ing to the fruits of his tree to extricate him-
self; but one day, on visiting it, he found it
(114) D


completely withered! The few apples of gold
that yet remained on its branches were shriv-
elled up, and all their brightness had gone
from them for ever. He tried every means
to restore its vitality, but in vain; it had been
killed by the want of water in the burning
heat of the summer sun.
Despair filled his breast. He feared to face
his clamorous creditors, and he dared not
venture to return to the palace. The source
of his wealth was destroyed, and to his be-
wildered mind but one course presented itself.
That was flight. He accordingly dug up the
root of his withered tree, and fled, he scarce
knew whither.
He soon found himself in the midst of a
dense forest, far removed from

"The busy haunts of men;"

and here he resolved to plant his golden tree
once more, and rear it amid solitude and shel-


51 -62





represents what may be achieved by steady
persevering industry and hard work, with the
very slightest admixture of talent, or even
none at all.
The moral of our story is thus plain enough,
and the reader need have no difficulty in de-
ciding whether the conduct of Bertel or Bald-
win is most worthy of imitation.

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