Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Half Title
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 Krab's Christmas holiday
 The clockwork child
 Bobby's paint-box
 The harp, the cloak, and the...
 Back Cover

Group Title: The first book of Krab : Christmas stories for young and old
Title: The first book of Krab
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00085612/00001
 Material Information
Title: The first book of Krab Christmas stories for young & old
Physical Description: 131, 12 p., 3 leaves of plates : ill. ; 22 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Parry, Edward Abbott, 1863-1943
Macgregor, Archibald ( Illustrator )
Nutt, David ( Publisher )
Ballantyne, Hanson and Co ( Printer )
Ballantyne Press ( Printer )
Publisher: David Nutt
Place of Publication: London
Manufacturer: Ballantyne, Hanson & Co. ; Ballantyne Press
Publication Date: 1897
Subject: Christmas -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Vacations -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Brothers and sisters -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Storytelling -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Magic -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Christmas stories   ( lcsh )
Fantasy literature -- 1897   ( rbgenr )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1897   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1897
Genre: Fantasy literature   ( rbgenr )
Publishers' catalogues   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Statement of Responsibility: by Edward Abbott Parry ; with illustrations by Archie Macgregor.
General Note: Publisher's catalogue follows text.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00085612
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002235751
notis - ALH6214
oclc - 05592108

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Front Matter
    Half Title
        Half Title
    Title Page
        Title Page 1
        Title Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents
    List of Illustrations
        List of Illustrations
    Krab's Christmas holiday
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 4a
        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
        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
    The clockwork child
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
    Bobby's paint-box
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
    The harp, the cloak, and the caldron
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 102a
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text

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Undine Front
Krab and the Goblin Postman
Snapwit : tailpiece
A 'immyson Raid
Field-Marshal Butterwops Addressing his Forces
The Flight of Curlywig
Gaudeamus omnes: tailpiece
The Sorrows of Undine
The Storm
Undine in Cloudland
The Diversions ofa Father
The Clockwork Child: tailpiece
The Buying of the Flesh-tint
A Smart Couple
Off to the Abbey
One in the Bread-basket: tailpiece
Kan Fishing for Porpoises
The First Suspension Bridge
The Ferryman
The Cheery Porpoise : tailpiece
Leek Soup
Anguish in Leekland: tailpiece
The First Ascent of Snowdon .
Catwg and the King
The Penitent Dragon: tailpiece


to face 4
S T3
S 27
S 28
S 38
S 47
S 67
S 73
S 87
S 93
S 95
toface 103



My bicycle is at the door,
My bag is on a cab,
I'll tell no stories any more,
You'd better send for Krab;
For I'm away on a holiday,
Across the Irish Sea,
And Krab can spin what yarns he may,
But you get no more from me,
Not a single one from me.

I know old Krab, and this I say,
The stories he can tell,
Will last from now to New Year's Day.
But mind you treat him well.
Poor Pater may be meek and mild,
He has to stand a lot;
But if you bully Krab, dear child,
My word you'll catch it hot,
You'll catch it very hot.
PATER'S Book of Rhymes.

T was Christmas Eve, and a Christmas Eve of the good
old-fashioned sort. The snow lay thick, crisp, and
white upon the ground, and rested in heavy lumps
on the fir-trees like sugar on a birthday-cake. Krab,
the Cave-man, stood at the door of his cave; a huge white

The First Book of Krab

fur coat buttoned close over his blue and yellow suit,
a warm woollycap pulled over his ears, and a red tippet
trimmed with beaver on his shoulders. He was smoking
a pipe at the door of his cave, with a smile of extreme
benevolence on his aged countenance. Indeed if he had
been hugging a fir tree in his arms, he would have looked
just like a Father Christmas in a confectioner's shop with a
hollow inside full of sweeties. And well he might be jolly.
It had been a regular jubilee year for Katawampus, as many
of you children may remember. Krab had had to start an
office, and a staff of clerks to deal with the letters and
accounts. Fifteen thousand four hundred and ninety-
eight children had been taken to Slapland at ten shillings
and threepence halfpenny a head. One million forty-two
thousand and eighty-eight new tempers had been put in
at two shillings each ; and five hundred and fifty thousand
six hundred and twenty-one new sets of manners had
been sold at sixpence halfpenny a set. So you can find
out for yourself the exact amount of money that Krab had
made during the year; and any child who works this sum
out correctly, and sends the answer to Mr. Nutt with three
shillings and sixpence, shall have a copy of this book for a
Krab was rubbing his hands with glee as he thought of
the business they were doing. It had gone beyond his
wildest expectations, and the more he thought of it the
more he wondered; because it seemed to him that for
every child cured of Katawampus two new children broke
out with it, and at that rate things would be brisk for many
years to come.
Now it was Krab's custom every year to take a holiday

Krab's Christmas Holiday

at Christmas time, and he was thinking, as he stood at the
door of his cave, where he would go this year, when a
little goblin with a big bag on his shoulder came strug-
gling up the path out of the wood towards the mouth of
the cave. It was Snapwit the postman.
"Any important letters ?" asked Krab, as the goblin
came up.
"A lot of growls from discontented parents, a few bills,
and half a ton of Christmas Cards," replied the goblin.
"It's my belief," said Krab wearily, "that parents never
were and never will be satisfied; but it's good for trade.
Take them into the office."
"There's a letter here I'm rather doubtful about,'" con-
tinued Snapwit. "There is twopence to pay on it because
it is not stamped, and it is not properly addressed either."
"Hand it over," said Krab.
The goblin postman pulled a little crumpled note out of
his pocket and gave it to Krab. The envelope was ad-
Old Ftiend Krab
The Cave.
"Old Friend Krab," muttered Krab to himself. "That
is all wrong. If it had been Duke Krab, or Count Krab,
or Mr. Krab, or Krab, Esq., I would have opened it; but
"Old Friend Krab" isn't respectful, is it ? I sha'n't pay
twopence for that."
"Hand it back, then," said Snapwit. "It may be an
invitation to dinner, though, for all you know."
"Ah," said Krab, "so it may." And he held it up
to the light to see if he could see through it, but he

The First Book of Krab

Snapwit held it up too. "I think I can see the word
'pudding' inside," he said gravely. "It's either 'pudding'
or 'puddle'."
"If it's 'puddle,'" said Krab, squinting at the letter
once more against the sky-" if it's 'puddle' it's not worth
twopence, and if it's pudding' the next thing you want to
know is whether it's 'rice' or 'plum'."
"The postmark is Manchester," said Snapwit, "so I
should say it is more likely to be 'puddle' than
'pudding '."
"We'll open it and see anyhow," said Krab; and he
handed the postman twopence and opened the letter.
The letter ran as follows:

Mother and Pater have gone away for ten days, and
will not be at home on Christmas Day. We think it is very
sneaky of them. Will you come and stay with us while
they are away ? We are all very good.
Love and kisses from

"Nothing about a pudding after all," said Krab discon-
"Turn over,' said Snapwit, "there is more on the other
So there is," continued Krab, turning over the paper
and reading it out: P.S. We are going to have a
turkey and a plum pudding on Christmas day, and



Krab's Christmas Holiday

mince pies too, and we have some chestnuts to roast
Krab smacked his lips as he read this out, while the
little goblin postman dropped his sack and turned head
over heels in the snow.
"You be quiet," said Krab, "and be off into the office.
You are not invited, so you can't go; but I think I shall
accept. 'Chestnuts to roast afterwards'-that is a most
excellent idea. I'll go in to the stable and order the
sleigh." So saying, he walked off to the stable, leaving
poor little Snapwit, who on finding that he was not going
to be taken with his master, went crying into the office
and told his woes to a couple of goblin-clerks and a
goblin cashier.
Krab's two white reindeers, Fliska and Floska, stood in
their stable ready harnessed. They had red leather trap-
pings with chains of little silver bells hanging from their
collars. The big sleigh was soon drawn out of the coach-
house and the reindeers put in. Krab went back to the
office and sent a telegram to say he was coming.
I had better send it to Tomakin he thought; so he
wrote it out thus :

Tomakin, Manchester. Shall be with you to-morrow for
dinner. Keep some chestnuts.
Snapwit was still crying in the office.
"I tell you what," said Krab, "it's rather hard to leave
you behind, seeing that you brought the invitation. I
shall want some one to look after the reindeers, and you
shall go; but you will have to hang on behind; there will

The First Book of Krab

be no room inside. Now be off sharp,put on your best
clothes, and pack up my things."
Snapwit cheered up in two seconds when he heard he
was to go, but the two goblin-clerks and the head cashier,
and indeed everyone in the office, began to howl and cry,
for they had all been giving Snapwit their sweeties to
comfort him, and now he was going to have a treat after
all. That is enough to make anybody cry, even a goblin.
Krab fled from the office in disgust.
About ten minutes afterwards the sleigh came round to
the door of the cave, Fliska and Floska drawing it lightly
over the frozen snow. Krab's big trunk was fastened on
behind, and Snapwit seated himself on top of it, hanging
on to the straps. Krab tumbled in and covered himself
with huge fur rugs, which he tucked round him, and having
lighted his pipe, drew on his big bearskin gloves and
caught up the reins; Fliska and Floska needed no whip;
they were quite fresh, for they had not been out since last
It was a glorious evening. The moon shone brightly
on the crisp snow, throwing long grey-green shadows
from the surrounding fir trees. The stars twinkled brightly
in the deep blue sky. "Hurry !" shouted Krab, shaking
the reins gently, "hurry, my boys !" And Fliska and
Floska threw back their horns proudly and sped away
down the mountain side, their bells tinkling merrily in the
silent night. "Hurry!" shouted Krab once more, "hurry!"
and the two reindeers leaped forth into the moonlight at
the rate of about a thousand and one miles an hour in the
direction of Manchester.
Then Krab fell back in the sleigh and snoozed peace-

Krab's Christmas Holiday

fully among the fur rugs, but Snapwit had to keep awake
and hang on to the trunk straps, for fear he should be
blown away by the cutting breeze.
Now, whether Krab came across the Irish Channel by
way of Belfast and Fleetwood, or Dublin and Holyhead,
I do not know. All I can tell you is that on Christmas
morning you might have seen his sleigh gliding quietly up
Market Street in Manchester, the reindeers picking their
way daintily over the frozen roads, and Krab smiling and
nodding to all the children he met. Snapwit sat behind
on the trunk, blowing his fingers and whistling, for he
was very cold. Half-way up Oxford Street they nearly
ran over a city alderman, who shook his head and his fist
at them, and said to a policeman who was standing by : If
that is a motor-car, they ought to blow a horn to tell people
they are coming."
"It's not a motor-car at all," said the policeman;
"it's reindeers. There ain't no rules for reindeers that
I know of."
"Then there must be in future," said the alderman,
fiercely. I don't see why reindeers shouldn't be made
to blow their horns. If you've got a horn, why shouldn't
you blow it ?"
"Well, blow it!" muttered the policeman, and he
turned on his heel and walked off, leaving the alderman
grumbling on the pavement.
Meanwhile Krab was trotting along towards the
children's home, and when he got to their house there
were Olga, Molly, Kate, and Tomakin, with their four
noses flattened against the dining-room window, eagerly
on the look-out for his arrival. As the sleigh turned the

The First Book of Krab

corner and the two white reindeers came in sight, they
raised a joyful shout: "Here's Krab I knew he'd come !
Three cheers for Krab !"
They rushed out into the garden to meet him. Snapwit
tumbled off the trunk and stood at the reindeers' heads
with his arms folded, and Fliska and Floska shook their
heads proudly and pawed the ground with their hoofs.
Very few reindeers could have made the journey as quickly
as they had done, and they were very pleased with them-
"Cousin Susan is here," said Olga. She has come to
look after us."
"She will be jolly glad you have come," said Molly,
rushing at Krab and hugging him. She says she can't
keep us quiet anyhow."
"I wrote my name to that letter all myself," said
Tomakin, sidling up and getting hold of Krab's hand to
lead him into the house.
Olga wrote the letter, you know," said Kate, "and we
all signed it."
It was a noble letter," replied Krab. How about the
chestnuts ?"
"Oh, we've saved them all," cried the children, "for a
feast after dinner."
"That is capital," said Krab. "I was afraid they might
be gone."
By this time Cousin Susan, who had been reading in
the drawing-room, being roused up by the noise, looked
out of window and was greatly surprised to see the sleigh
with Fliska and Floska standing at the door. Still
greater was her surprise when she went into the hall to

Krab's Christmas Holiday

find Krab hanging his coat on the hat-stand, pulling off
his big gloves, and stamping his feet on the mat.
"Why, I declare it is Krab," she shouted, and went into
wild fits of laughter. This was really rather rude of her,
but, as she explained afterwards, he was such a funny
little man and looked so tuffy and squinney, she couldn't
help it.
Krab made a low bow with his hand on his heart.
"-He's come to stay with us, haven't you ?" shouted the
"I hope you have, indeed," said Cousin Susan. I
never met such children. I can't amuse them anyhow."
"Dear me," replied Krab,. gravely, "you surprise me.
I should have thought you would amuse any one."
Cousin Susan was not quite sure whether this was a
compliment or not, so she said "Thank you," and went
off to see that the spare room was made ready for their
visitor. It was foolish of Mother and Pater, she thought,
not to have told her about Krab's visit, for it never
entered her head that Krab had been invited by the
children, and not by Pater at all. Of course she knew
Krab was an old friend of Pater's, for she had often heard
Pater speak of him, and his portrait, sitting on a wave,
hung by the bookcase in the study.
When she returned, she found Snapwit had carried
Krab's trunk into the hall, and Krab was unpacking
it. He took out a doll's perambulator, painted yellow
and green, with a real hood and four indiarubber-tyred
wheels, for Molly; another, painted scarlet and orange,
for Kate; a clockwork railway, with six carriages and two
engines, for Tomakin; and three story-books for Olga.

The First Book of Krab

The children were in a state of wild delight. Krab
dived into the trunk again as Cousin Susan appeared, and
brought out a jewel-case, with a diamond bracelet in it,
which he presented her, with one of his sweetest smiles.
She did not laugh at him this time. Indeed, she came
to the conclusion that though "he wasn't tall, you know,
yet at times he looked quite dignified."
Krab now asked what was to be done with Fliska and
Floska. There were no stables to the house, and the
cook was decidedly against having them in the kitchen,
which was what Krab had suggested.
"Well," said Krab, "of course if the cook thinks they will
be in the way when the cooking is going on, that settles it."
"The bicycles live in the cellar," said Kate. "They
might go there."
"Not warm enough," said Krab.
"There is the wash-house, or the tool-house, or the box-
room upstairs," said Olga, running over the possibilities.
"It's a very stupid house," said Molly discontentedly.
"There seems no place in it for reindeers at all."
Snapwit suggested they might live outside in the
garden in the daytime, and it was finally settled that they
should do this, and come in at night; one to sleep on
the kitchen rug, and the other on the dining-room sofa,
Krab promising that they would lie down quietly, and
not go knocking about and spoiling things.
By this time it was the dinner hour, and never did they
have such a jolly Christmas dinner as that was. Krab sat
at one end and carved; Cousin Susan sat at the other,
and laughed so much at Krab's jokes that there was no
one to keep order at all. Snapwit was such a tiny fellow

Krab's Christmas Holiday
that Cousin Susan thought he ought to go into the
nursery for dinner. Krab told her, however, that he was
really one hundred and four years old, so that it was
clear he was old enough to come down to dinner.
Nurse brought down Tomakin's old high chair, that he
had grown out of years ago, and Snapwit sat up in that
with a napkin round his neck, and made a rare dinner.
The children were glad he was not sent upstairs, because
after the turkey had gone, and before the plum pudding
came on, he gave them a tumbling exhibition, and stood
on his head on the top of the cruet-stand, which the
children would not have missed for worlds. After pudding
time, there were crackers, and riddles, and all sorts of fun
and merriment, so that you would have had to be a very
dreary and superior person indeed not to enjoy yourself.
It has been well said by a wise man, that all good
things have an end except a roly-poly pudding, which
has two, and the children's Christmas dinner finished at
last, and they went into Pater's study to roast chestnuts.
Krab settled in Pater's easy-chair, and Olga found him a
big cigar from a box.which she knew Pater always got
out when any special friend came to see him. It was
growing too dark to read, and Cousin Susan joined them
and helped to roast the chestnuts. Olga sat on the rug,
to turn them when they were burning. Molly sat on
one of Krab's knees, Kate on the other, and Tomakin
climbed up and perched himself on his shoulder and
half on the back of the chair. Snapwit had gone out to
give-the reindeers their share of the plum pudding and
one mince-pie each. The chestnuts spluttered by the
fire. Krab made beautiful rings with the smoke from

The First Book of Krab

his cigar, which floated up to the ceiling, and every one
felt peaceful and perhaps somewhat sleepy. Suddenly
Molly, who never could be happy for two seconds unless
something was going forward, shouted out, "Let's have
stories !"
"Bag's first choice," shouted all the children at once,
Tomakin being, perhaps, two seconds late.
"You shall all have turns," said Krab, "if you are good;
and Cousin Susan, too, if she likes."
Cousin Susan's asleep," said Olga. I vote for a love
"Bother love stories," said Molly. "Let us have a
story about naughty children."
"Let Tomakin choose," said Kate; "he is the
"Youngest first," said Krab, "and Tomakin is to
All eyes were turned on Tomakin, who gazed stead-
fastly on the floor, and looked terribly puzzled.
"Have fairies," whispered Kate.
"That isn't fair," shouted Molly. "He has to choose
by himself."
"I want a story about a beetle, then," said Tomakin
Every one laughed.
"Why a beetle, dear ?" asked Cousin Susan, smiling,
for she had wakened up now.
"Because there is a beetle, just crawled under your
dress," replied Tomakin, pointing to the floor.
Cousin Susan jumped up with a shriek. The little
girls shrieked in chorus. But Tomakin clapped his

Krab's Christmas Holiday
hands and laughed to see him running for the fender.
Before he reached it, however, Snapwit was on to him,
had caught him by the left leg, and pulled him out of
the door, down the hall, and into the garden.
It took some time to restore order, and Cousin Susan
would not settle again until Snapwit had made a thorough
search for beetles all round the room.
There were no more to be seen, and Krab asked them
if they knew the story of Butterwops. "For," said he,
"that is the best beetle story I know."
As nobody had ever heard it, he began as follows.




Beetles blue and gold,
Dressed in varied hue,'
Glittering wings enfold,
Sprinkled by the dew.
Common fellows mine,
Found in every crack;
More to me than beetles fine
Are beetles black.

Beetles on the wing,
Wheeling home at night,
Greater poets sing,
Praise their droning flight;
Mine, the housewife's toe
Scrunches on the back;
Pity's tears from me shall flow
For beetles black.

From my study floor,
When the children sleep,
Underneath my door
Friendly beetles creep,
Glean their daily bread,
Fearing no attack;
Mother's chivied off to bed
By beetles black.
PATER'S Book of Rhymes.

ONCE upon a time there was a black beetle
named Butterwops. He was very old, very
wise, and had seen a great deal of the
world. He had lived in a number of
different houses, and was said to know more about the
various qualities of sugar than a blue-bottle, and to under-


stand the ways of men better than a cricket. Therefore it
is not to be wondered at that he became the leader of a
small army of beetles, who called him "The General."
He had a thick hoarse laugh, and could tell many tales,
both fierce and merry, of battles he had fought against
earwigs, cockroaches and caterpillars. But for some time
his laugh had not been heard, and he had been sad and
melancholy, for his army were dying by thousands, and if
things went on in the way they were going, there would
soon be not a single beetle left to listen to the tales of
"The General."
The kitchen he lived in had plenty to eat in it, and was
warm and comfortable, with lots of cracks in the walls
and ceiling to live in during the day ; but lately the master
of the house had taken to spreading yellow powder over
the floor and the young beetles would eat it, and it dis-
agreed with them and they died. This yellow powder, so
Butterwops told me, smelled deliciously of sugar and
cheese and drippings from beer barrels ; and all the young
beetles, being greedy, ate it up wherever they could find
it. What happened to them after they tasted it was this :
as soon as they had had three mouthfuls, they felt a bad
pain underneath their shell, turned over on their backs,
kicked a little and died, and in the morning the dook
swept them up and threw them into the garden. No
wonder that Butterwops felt sad. He himself never
tasted anything unless he had seen another beetle try it
first and had watched him walk about for quite five
minutes. That is how he came to live to be old and
become their general; but he told nobody about that,
keeping it a secret.

The First Book of Krab

Butterwops had a great-grandson called little Jimmy.
He was very lively and adventurous, and was always
trotting across the floor in the daytime to frighten the
cook; so it is a wonder he had lived as long as he had.
He did not eat the yellow powder, though he would have
dearly liked to, for he was an obedient little beetle, and
always did what Butterwops told him to do. As he was
about so much in the daytime he was generally the first
to hear the news, and one day, about this time, he came
to Butterwops and told him that the house on the other
side of the street was taken, and he had seen some people
moving in to it while he was sitting on the window-sill in
the gloaming on Thursday evening, which was the cook's
night out.
Fancy that !" said Butterwops. Why I used to live
in that house when I was a tiny little beetle just your
size. It's a grand old house. Not a skirting board within
half an inch of the floor, cracks in all the walls and holes
in the plaster. I wonder what sort of people are living
in it."
"Newly married people," said little Jimmy, whatever
that may mean. I heard the cook say so, and the police-
man told her about it."
"Ah !" said Butterwops, rubbing his hind legs together
thoughtfully; newly married people. They will do for
us. They will have lots of sugar and leave it about, and
then they will get some children to live with them, and
the children won't eat fat and will make crumbs all
over the floors; there will be lots to eat. We shall
That night the General called all the beetles round him

after the cook had rolled the rug up and gone to bed, and
sitting on the heel of one of the master's boots, which
were drying on the fender, explained to all the beetles that
they must move across the road. "For," said he, "there
is a newly married couple over the way. Now this kind
of human being eats little else than sugar, and knows
nothing of the ways of the world or the habits of the
beetle. Their hearts are full of kindliness, and believing
others to be as good as they are, they leave the best food
in the easiest places, and often allow the beer barrel to
drip on the floor for days together. So happy are they
together, that they would not interfere with the happiness
of others, even though they are black and wear shells.
With them we may live for many years in health and
comfort, whereas here we die by tens and twenties every
night. Arise, therefore, and follow me carefully and
quickly. But when you are on the pavement in the road
listen carefully for the tread of the policeman. If he
comes among us while we are on the pavement he will
kill many of us, for policemen have bigger feet than any
other kind of men; only, luckily, Providence has given
them squeaky boots so that they may be heard coming a
long way off. Now follow me and remember what I have
So speaking he crawled off the boot, down across the
floor, under the scullery door, along the garden walk,
across the pavement, in at the opposite gateway, round to
the back door of the other house; and in half an hour
Butterwops, little Jimmy, and two hundred and forty-nine
of the beetles were safe in their new house, having crossed
the road with the loss of only three beetles, two having

The First Book of Krab

tumbled down a drain, and a third losing his way in
trying to make a short cut across a flower bed.
They all set to work to get comfortable in their new
quarters, and Butterwops, who liked to be near the fire,
found a crack in the wall on top of the oven where
they dried the wood. From this place of safety he
could come out and walk about among the warm wood
and enjoy the heat, and yet run away on the .first
This is capital," he said, as he sat warming himself and
watching twenty-five beetles climbing into the sugar basin
at once; "this is peace and quiet, and here we shall be
very happy."
As for the master of the old house they had lived in, he
was very happy too, and wrote and told the man from
whom he had bought the yellow powder, "Your powder
has killed all the beetles in my house." And the man who
sold the, powder printed that in all the newspapers, and
other people bought it; but it did not kill all their beetles,
and that made them angry. Now if they read this story
they will know how it really happened.
Although, as I have said, the house itself was very old,
and suitable for beetles in every respect, yet all the things
in the house were new, and perhaps the newest thing of
all was the young servant, who seemed rather jealous
of the other new things and often broke them. At
present they had no cat, and as there was no one else
to blame, the new Mistress scolded the new servant, and
then they both cried; especially if it happened, as it often
did, that what was broken was a wedding present. How-
ever, the Mistress was far too happy to be angry for long,

and too proud of all the beautiful new pots and pans
in the kitchen, which she loved better than any of the
lovely furniture in the drawing-room, to keep away from
them for many hours. Besides, the young servant did
not know much about anything, and the Mistress used
to help her to cook, and especially to get the Master's tea
ready when he came home. Indeed, in spite of the
breakages, they were all very happy. The Mistress used
to go about .the house singing brightly and cheerfully;
while the young servant had four lumps of sugar in her
tea and a large slice of cake with it every night, so that she
was quite happy, although singing was out of the question.
As for the Master, you had only to see him running up
the house steps to see how glad he was to get home again
after his day's work.
And dear old Butterwops Why, it did his kind heart
good to see so much happiness, especially as the beer
barrel stdod just outside the kitchen door and dripped
on to the floor, the food got left about in easy places,
and the larder door was always wide open so that you did
not have to scrape your shell getting underneath it. It
was a grand place for beetles, and Butterwops told them
that if they kept quiet during the day and only came out
at night, things would go well with them. Indeed, I have
no doubt it would have been as he said, if they had only
obeyed his instructions; but beetles, like children, some-
times forget to do what they are told.
Little Jimmy, for instance, was never happy unless he
was frightening womenkind, and one afternoon three
or four days after they had arrived, when the Mistress
and her servant were getting: tea ready, he scattered

The First Book of Krab

across the room, helter-skelter, right under their eyes.
The girl saw him first and threw the toasting fork on to

l Iiii


the best tea-things, breaking two cups and saucers with
it; then she bounded on to a chair, pulled her skirts

tight round her legs and screamed out, Beetles Black
'uns "
In a moment the Mistress dropped the kettle, which
nearly crushed little Jimmy, and jumped on to the table
herself, screaming, if anything, louder than her servant.
Little Jimmy could hardly get under the skirting board,
he was laughing so, and old Butterwops, looking out
cautiously from the wood pile, grunted to himself, "Little
Jimmy again," for he knew who must have done it as
soon as he heard the women screaming.
How long the two ladies might have stayed there
screaming before they would have dared to step down
on to the floor again I do not know, but the Master of
the house came in just then, and hearing the cause of the
trouble laughed aloud and called his wife a "little silly."
Then she cried, and he picked her off the table and kissed
her, and then she pretended to box his ears, and then the
young servant laughed, and they all laughed together and
got tea ready and were merry again, and soon forgot
about beetles.
"But," said the Master of the house wisely, if there
are beetles, I will get a beetle trap." And he did so.
That night he brought one into the kitchen, and before
they went to bed he and his wife mixed up a dose of
treacle and sugar and beer, and put it in the trap and left
the trap on the floor. Butterwops was looking on all
the time from out of the wood pile, and he laughed
all down the back of his shell at them. He had seen that
kind of beetle trap before. It was a box of wood, with
sloping sides to walk up and a sort of inkstand in the
middle, leading to the beer and treacle. When you

The First Book of Krab

walked up the sides, you smelled the mixture and if you
went to the edge of the glass inkstand, you stepped in
arid got drowned. There was no getting out of it.
That night Butterwops was very anxious about the
other beetles, for he knew what duffers they were, so he

got down right away and sat on the edge of the trap and
'told them all about it. As the Master of the house
had been foolish enough to leave the sugar and treacle
on the table, no one bothered about the trap. They had
a merry feast, only spoilt by one giddy young beetle
tumbling head first into the treacle pot, and there the
Master found him when he came down to light the fire;
which he often had to do, for the young servant was very

- ~r~P-,rc`i


sleepy, especially in the mornings, and they could not
get her up. When he found nothing in the -trap, and the
dead beetle in the treacle pot on the table, he seemed
very angry and threw both treacle and trap out of the
scullery window, across the garden into the ashpit.
"To-night," he said, "we will have a hedge-hog "
Butterwops, vwho had stuck his head out of his crack
to see what was going on, drew it back quickly and
shuddered at this, for he knew what hedge-hogs were.
His grandfather had been eaten by one in a garden close
to the house, and he had heard they were terrible fellows
for catching beetles, as indeed they are.
Sure enough, that night the Master brought home a
hedge-hog, a little prickly round ball in a basket. He
unrolled himself by the fire and had a sup of milk.
"Let us call him Curlywig," said his wife, as she
poured out the milk; "he is such a little darling. See
him drink."
So they called him Curlywig; but he paid no atten-
tion to them, and curled up on the rug and went to
That night Butterwops did not come down from the
fireplace, but looked out from the wood pile in great
trouble. When all his army of beetles were creeping and
crawling over the floor, picking up food and having a
rare good time, he kept shouting out from the edge of a
log: Do go home! Do go in .There's a hedge-hog
in the corner."
But some of the beetles went close to Curlywig to
look at him, and came back and said to Butterwops :
" Nonsense, it's only a mop-head. You are growing old

The First Book of Krab

and nervous, General. Go to bed and let us eat in
Almost as soon as they had spoken, Curlywig unrolled
himself, and darting here and there and everywhere, went
round the room cracking up beetles like one o'clock,
while poor old Butterwops sat wringing his feelers and
crying out from the wood pile : "I told you so I told
you so !"
Several nimble ones that were lucky enough to get
away disappeared under the floor through the first crack
they could find. One hid in the tea-caddy and got
smothered and made into tea next morning. Two or
three jumped into the porridge, which was by the fire,
and were destroyed, while one beetle who escaped by
the skin of his shell turned white with sudden fright from
that moment. Never was such a clearance. Twenty-
eight beetles were caught and killed in about sixty-five
seconds. From that time onwards, there was no peace
for beetles. If one put his head up above a crack in the
floor, Curlywig was on to him and he was snapped
up. In three days, one hundred and four beetles had
been eaten, and the rest were all starving. Butter-
wops himself had not tasted bite or sup all the time,
and you could hear little Jimmy crying behind the
skirting-board that he had nothing to eat and was very
How long this might have gone on no one can say,
but at last Butterwops hit on a bright idea, and-the next
night as soon as the people of the house were in bed, he
.came to.the edge of the wood pile and said to the hedge-
hog : "Mr. Curlywig, sir !"

-- cr"rib-hi-~--~r--c~17-'""---~rap.slr-r

Curlywig looked up, and seeing a beetle, snapped his
jaws at him but said nothing.
"Mr. Curlywig, sir, can you explain to me why you are
here ?"
"To eat beetles, I suppose. What better job can you
have ? I'd eat you if you would come down, though you
look rather old and tough, and there are lots of young
ones left yet."
'"Ah, but I sha'n't come down, thank you," said Butter-
wops, smiling blandly. "I suppose," he continued, as if
he was merely thinking it out," you don't know what it
is like to be eaten, do you ?"
"Not I," said Curlywig. How should I ?"
"No, of course not," said Butterwops. Poor little
fellow, how should he It seem's a cruel shame to bring
him here for that. Poor little fellow "
Who is a poor little fellow ? asked Curlywig, rather
"That's what the Mistress said, while you were asleep,"
said Butterwops, innocently, "and she was making the
pie-crust. She said, poor little fellow, I hope they won't
hurt him skinning him "
Curlywig shivered in every prickle. "Who is to be
skinned ? he snapped out, looking round nervously.
"The cookery book was open at Hedgehog Tdrt," went
on Butterwops, quite coolly, as though he was talking
about the weather, "and the servant said at the rate you
were eating beetles she thought you would be fat enough
by to-morrow."
"Dear me! dear me !" said Curlywig;" *what wicked
things these men are. I remember now when the Master

The First Book of Krab

of the house bought me, he said : Lean-little beggar this,
but he'll soon fatten up at our house for we are full of
blackbeetles.' What wretches they. are What -shall I
do ?"
"As far as I can learn," continued Butterwops, "it is
done like this. You take a young hedge-hog, the fatter
the better, first remove the prickles and skin quickly- "
"Do be quiet," groaned Curlywig, rolling himself up
into a ball. "What shall I do ? What shall I do ?"
"That is to say," said Butterwops, "that is how it is
done if they decide on tart. If it's to be curry you won't
be skinned, only then you will catch it hotter in the
"Shut up !" shouted Curlywig, running round the
kitchen table in despair. "Oh my poor prickles! What
shall I do ?"
"Well, if I were you," continued the General, calmly,
"I do not think I should stay on, but do not go on my
account. You might squeeze under the scullery door if
you wanted to, or you can stay and be eaten, and I have
no doubt you will look as handsome in a tart as you do
out of it. But after all, handsome is as handsome does,
and the real question is what will you taste like. Now
you will never know, but I shall hear all about it. Yes,"
chuckled Butterwops, I shall hear all about it."
Curlywig was now galloping round the room mad with
terror, shouting out : "Oh, my poor prickles Oh, my
poor prickles !"
Butterwops continued slowly as though he was address-
ing a dear friend. I am really very sorry for you, but
don't worry so much. They are going to put some

steak and kidney in the pie, so you will have company;
and I dare say being- baked is not bad, though I fear
you won't like the skinning, especi-
/ ally this chilly weather. But it will
Soon be over, and once inside the
oven you will be warm again in a
Curlywig did not hear all this. He
Shad heard enough. The foolish fellow
believed every word Butterwops said
to him, and when he came to the
word skinning Curlywig uttered a
wild shriek and away he fled under-
neath the scullery door, across the
garden, out into the fields beyond
the church, where he hid in a dry
ditch for three days, and dared not
move out for fear the people of the
house were hunting for him.
Then the beetles had peace and grew up with the
children who came to stay at that house, and cleaned up
the floors, and kept out of
sight as much as-might be.
Even little Jimmy grew wiser
and gave up frightening the
Mistress; and as for the
young servant she grew older
and ate less sugar, and walked i-.
about the kitchen very care-
fully for fear she should tread on a beetle. No one
ever heard of Curlywig any more. And everyone in that

The First Book of Krab

house, from the Master of it down to little Jimmy, lived
happily ever afterwards.
This much more there is to tell: that if you can make
friends with a blackbeetle you should get him to tell you
stories of Butterwops. And this any good beetle will do
willingly, for there never has been such a General as he
was before or since. But of all the many tales of his
valour and wisdom, there is none they love to tell better
than the story of how he outwitted Curlywig the Hedge-
hog. "That," as little Jimmy said at a dinner given by
all the beetles to their General to celebrate Curlywig's
flight, "is a story fit to be written in letters of Treacle on
the skirting boards of Time."

"I like little Jimmy best," said Tomakin quietly, as Krab
"Butterwops told shocking fibs to Curlywig, you
know," said Olga.
"He'd have been eaten up if he hadn't," said Molly,
"and so would little Jimmy."
"Well, it was Curlywig's own fault, of course," said
Olga, thoughtfully. "Whose turn is it to choose a
story ?"

~ ---" -- -` --ri


"Mine next," said Kate. Let us have a story about a
little girl that went to school and grew up and had
"There is the story of Undine," replied Krab thought-
fully; "but she was a wave, and of course went to a wave
school. However, she grew up and had adventures. We
might try it."
"Rather !" cried Molly; "it sounds A i. Fire away !"
And Krab fired away as follows.



Oh the lamb may leap in the field,
And the gull sail down the wind,
There are none so free
As the waves of the sea,
Free to be harsh or kind;
Free to flow where they will,
To be ravenous, rough and wild,
Free to be calm and still
To sleep like a tired child.
And the fate of none is sealed
By the laws of human kind,
Like the lamb that leaps in the field
And the sea-gull on the wind.
PATER'S Book of Rhymes.

D ID you ever notice the waves rolling in over
the sands at the sea-side on a stormy day ?
If you stand on the cliffs you can see them
miles away rushing towards you. They do
not hustle or jostle each other until they near the shore.
They have to march in order across the sea. Even the
waves have to obey rules; each has to keep in his place,
and I never heard of a wave being rude enough to try
and get before another wave coming across the sea. It


would lead to no end of confusion if they did that.
No; they take their proper turns, and play "Follow
my leader" over the sea until they come to the shore.
Then it is "One two three and away !" and when they
break on the beach each one may go for himself,. and
they rush up the shore as hard as they can. Then, as
you may have seen, the biggest gets the best of it. He
romps over the heads of the little ones as he rolls over,
and ducks them well under before he shoots up the slope,
spreading himself over the brown sand and turning it
green with envy. For the sand cannot romp and play
round as the waves can, but has to sit still while children
dig into it and make puddings of it. Poor old sand It
is very patient, if you come to think of it, and it is glad
when the sea comes over it and tidies things up after the
children have been at play there, for they make a great
mess of it, and the sand likes to look smooth and neat;
When a big wave turns round to go home again you
may have seen it try to spoil the next wave's fall-a mean
thing to do when you have had a jolly plunge yourself.
Then the two of them wrestle and fight and lose a lot of
spray, shooting it up into the air when they meet; but
they get past each other somehow, and so the game goes
on. If you had ever been a porpoise you would under-
stand what glorious fun it is. Yof cannot play at being
a wave in the bath at home. I've tried it, and it makes a
terrible mess all over the floor, and that makes ,Mother
Those big waves are savage, cruel fellows, many of
them, and when they get really angry and gather together
for the Storm War it is well to be out of the way, .

The First Book of Krab

The waves and the winds boast that they can never be
tamed by man, and are ever ready to do him injury.
They have all sorts of foolish notions about men and
their ships, and they long to destroy all they meet with.
Yes, they are bad fellows. They teach the young waves
that it is their duty to kill men whenever they have a
chance to do so. Men, they say, worship a goddess
called Britannia, who has a three-pronged spear, and
boasts that she can rule the waves and keep them in
order. But the waves say they have no ruler, and are
a free people having an alliance with the four winds.
Luckily for men the winds and waves quarrel sometimes,
and then it is calm. Besides, waves are lazy fellows and
fond of play; so that it is only when they get angry, and
hear people talking about Britannia, that the waves make
friends with the four winds and go forth to the storm
war. Then you may hear the shrill blast of the trumpets
calling them to battle, and the wave who stays at home
and will not come out to destroy men is looked upon as
a coward. But they are all too eager and willing to go,
and delight in fighting and destruction. Of course their
ideas are very wrong and very foolish, but they have
never been taught any better and do not know what love
is. Some day when they see that all the little children
on the sands are kind to each other they will follow their
good example, and learn to love one another and be kind
to men. Then the world will be much happier.
Once upon a time there was a child wave named
Undine. "Undine the Beautiful" they called her, because,
when she was quite a little ripple, she sparkled more
brilliantly than any of her thousand brothers and sisters,


and not one of them was so crystal clear or dressed in
such wonderful shades of sapphire blue and emerald
green. She was born at the mouth of a white limestone
rock cave on the coast of Devonshire. The fourteenth of
August was her birthday. Never had there been such a
lovely little ripple as Undine, The old Tide let her run
up and down on his back when he came into the bay
where she lived. She kept close by the cave for a time,
and grew big and strong, and became first a billow and
then a wavelet; but when a month had passed she was a
full grown wave-only a small one of course, but still a
Her father was a well known Devonshire coast wave, a
jolly compact old sea salt roller, with a great thatch of
creamy foam on his head. He ran up and down the coast
and out to sea in a lazy aimless kind of way, playing with
the fishing smacks. and rolling over the porpoises.
He had a kindly look and was a friendly fellow as a
rule, but could be as cruel and fierce as the worst of them
when he was roused. Old Lobster-Pot they called him,
because he loved when he could to dive down and wash
the lobsters out of their baskets, and then come and dance
round the fishermen's boats in the morning when they
pulled them up, and laugh at them when they found all
their hard work had been for nothing.
Undine's mother was a tall graceful wave with a
beautiful green breast, on which she rested her white
surge head proudly like a royal swan. Her name was
Mora. She thought it vulgar to play. with the lobster-
pots, and when her children were old enough she took
them across the sea to stay at the French seaside towns

The First Book of Krab

for the bathing season. She liked to hear the people on
the pier cry out, Oh look at that lovely wave 1 as she
held back her glorious head and rushed through the
girders of the pier, splashing and sparkling in the sun,
and followed by her merry family tumbling headlong
after her.
Little Undine saw nothing of her mother and father
during the first months of her life. She never went out-
side the bay, but rippled up and down in front of a large
cave, diving under the ruddy golden seaweed to look at
the quiet sea anemones. They were wonderful fellows,
she thought. Even the youngest of them could sit still
for hours. You never saw sea anemones fidgeting about,
and as for turning head over heels, they do not even think
of it. But Undine was a restless young thing, full of life
and spirits, never still for a moment; and the sea anemones
loved her, for she was always gentle and kind to them.
Ah those were happy times !
The old waves like to go voyaging about and to see
something of the wide world, so they are sensible enough
to pack their children off to school as soon as they are
born. The ripples have a class to themselves. They are
taught to walk in rows, and each one learns to keep his
place. You cannot teach a ripple much more than that,
but that is something. There was a wave school in the bay
in which Undine lived. The Zephyr taught the ripple
class. They went every morning at sunrise, and had
drill in a pool behind the rocks. It was a pretty sight.
The sea anemones, red and white, opened out on the
rocks to look on, lazy star-fishes stretched themselves
upon the sands and laughed when the little ripples tried


to move them higher up the beach, even those snarly little
periwinkles peeped out of their black shells to see what
was going on, and the old hermit crab, grumbling all the
while at being roused up so early, sat at the door of his
shell, and beat time to the marching with one of his
One, two, three, four," said the gentle Zephyr. "Heads
up Keep your places Let the little ripples have plenty
of room. Now, Undine dear, throw your shadow well
When the morning drill was done, the Zephyr used
to say to the ripples, "Now you shall have a-holiday; go
and play together. Love one another. Be as good as
you can. Be kind to all the world and you will be happy."
Then she kissed them all lightly, and flew away across the
yellow sand and the heather covered rocks, and they saw
her no more until next morning. But they could hear
her singing on the cliff one of those songs about the
waves she loved so well, and when the chorus came they
would join in, for she had taught it to them in the class,
and it went this way :

Oh, children may be naughty,
And monkeys may be bad,
Young fishes, too, will often do
What makes their teacher sad;
Did we expect them to behave,
We should expect too much,
But a ripple is a little wave
And should behave as such,
Yes, must behave as such.

Ah the Zephyr was a kind teacher, and took such

The First Book of Krab

pains with the little ripples in her class, that in a week
they were ready to go into the Upper School.
They had good playtimes too. The old Tide let them
play sea-horses on his back. Then there was Hide and
Seek" round the rocks, Hunt the Cockle," and Ripple-
Chivy." It is no use telling you how to play those games,
for children cannot play at them.
One of their favourite sports was to race up the sand
and see who could get furthest. Undine was very clever
at that game. One day when they were doing this, a little
boy and his elder sister were paddling in the water, sailing
a boat. He was a bonny little fellow, about four years
old, and when Undine came running up the sand, rocking
his toy boat and splashing the sails, he clapped his hands
and cried out, Look at that great, big, lovely wave !"
Undine could not help laughing at the little fellow's
glee, but she liked to be called a big wave.
At this moment a nasty, rough ripple-who was quite
big enough for the billow class-came rushing along, and
the little boy got in his way and spoiled his run up the
"Knock him over !" shouted a lot of the bigger ripples.
"He is spoiling the game !"
"Leave him alone," cried Undine, as she floated grace-
fully back again.
But several of the bigger ripples rushed up at the same
time, and knocking over the little fellow, rolled him in the
Undine I Undine !" he called out in his terror as they
tumbled over him.
Undine rushed back to help him, but she was not strong


enough. He knew nothing of Undine the ripple. It was
his sister, who was also named Undine, for whom he was
calling; and she had run into the water at his first cry,
and picking him up in her arms, had carried him out on
to the dry sand. But the nasty little ripples had now
caught hold of his boat and were pushing it out to sea.
Undine, Undine," sobbed the little chap, I want my
boat, I want my boat!"
His sister could not reach it, and the two stood hand-
in-hand, helpless on the beach, while the little boat drifted
away. Bravely did our Undine, when she heard the call,
dash forward to do battle with the naughty little ripples,
who called out angrily, "Shut up Wash it out to sea !
Swamp it! He was spoiling our game."
They were too strong for poor Undine, and would have
destroyed the little boat or washed it, away, had not the
kind Zephyr, hearing all the noise, swept down from the
cliffs, filled the sails of the toy boat and wafted it to shore.
After this she blew the naughty little ripples away, and
they went into rock pools and sulked by themselves.
When the Zephyr had returned to the cliffs, the big
rough ripple who had knocked over the little boy cried
out fiercely : When I am a wave I shall kill all the boys I
can and swamp their- boats. That is what my big brother
is taught to do, and he is a wave and goes out to sea."
The Zephyr often heard this sort of talk among the
ripples, and when Undine asked her why they said these
things, she kissed her gently and told her not to be angry
even with the ripples, who did not know what they were
saying, and begged her when she grew up to be kind and
good to every one, for then she would be happy.

The First Book of Krab

However, she was not altogether happy just at first, for
the other ripples were not at all pleased with her and
would not speak to her. The little boy was carried off
the beach by his sister, so Undine was left all alone and
hid herself under some dark brown seaweed in the cleft of

,- -
-k 3
-5q( r

a rock and cried herself to sleep, when she dreamed that
the pretty little boy was a beautiful wave and was dancing
with her hand-in-hand over the wide ocean.
The next day she was moved into the billow class. The
Master was the South Wind. He had just come home
from college. He taught them cresting and breaking on


rocks. He was a bright, clever fellow, but he told them
nothing about being good and kind as the Zephyr had
done. After a week in the billow class, Undine and several
of her young friends were moved up into the wavelet
class. This was taught by a young wave, and here they
learned rushing, leaping, rolling, and marching in open
order. The young wave told them exciting stories of
wrecks and drowning men, and repeated to them all that
nonsense about Britannia wanting to rule the waves, and
insisted on the duty of all good waves to go about fighting
men and killing as many as possible. This he called
"patriotism," and Undine listened to his eloquent stories
until she had nearly forgotten all that the kind Zephyr
had tried to teach her. But the fierce young wave could
not change Undine's real nature, and she remained at
heart a kind and gentle wave. Outwardly she grew tall
and strong, and her mother and father and all her brothers
and sisters still called her Undine the Beautiful."
At the end of a month she passed all her examinations
and was a first class wave ready to go to sea. That
was a great day when they all left school. Old Lobster
Pot and his good wife Mora came to fetch them away.
The South Wind made an oration in Latin about the duty
of waves to fight for their country.
It began Arma virumque cano, and old Lobster Pot said
it was very original and clever. The Zephyr sighed to see
all these young waves, full of bright hope and eager
fancies, passing out of the quiet bay into the open Channel
and the wide world.
SThey sailed along in open order among the fishing
boats; and yachts, and steamers. The riasty rough ripple

The First Book of Krab

that had knocked down the little boy and tried to steal his
boat had grown into a handsome big wave. Surger, they
called him, because of his handsome head and fine flowing
surge when he broke over the sand banks. He was very
fond of Undine now, and kept close to her as they sailed
up the channel. It was a glorious day. The sun shone
brightly, the gulls swooped down and floated for a few
moments on Undine's shoulders and then soared away
down the breeze. The boats leaped merrily in front
of them.
"Shall we see any wrecks to-day ?" asked Undine.
"I hope so," shouted Surger; and he shook his curly
white head and shot in front of Undine, who could not
help admiring his handsome presence.
"Wrecks Nonsense!" growled out old Lobster Pot
from behind. "These are the holidays, and we are going
to picnic up the river."
Then they turned aside from the channel and went past
a castle on a high rock, underneath steep cliffs, across
wide mudbanks, lifting up the boats which were lying
asleep among .the damp seaweed. Some of the waves-
lazy old fellows these-went off into the harbour for a
quiet snooze, others ran up the river into long creeks,
forcing their way roughly among the quiet country streams.
Old Lobster Pot and his wife went straight along the
big river. There Undine saw many strange sights. Trees
and flowers, horses and carts, men, women, and children.;
but not one among them so beautiful, to her thinking, as
the little blue-eyed boy she had tried to rescue from the
naughty ripples. There too, along the banks of the river,
she saw wide waving fields of green, turning to gold, which

---Z~----~-~-~~m-- --~ ~--C----`-----~l~----


rustled in the breeze, and she shouted to them to join her;
for she felt so happy herself she wanted everyone else to
be happy too. But they did not understand her language,
so they made no answer; for they were only cornfields.
At last they came to a big city, and ran between high
walls of white stone, and saw tall buildings and the
big towers of the Cathedral, and here there were ci-owds
of people.
"Oh! oh!" cried Undine and Surger together, "this
is beautiful."
The Cathedral clock chimed four. Old Lobster Pot
shook his head and called out the order for return.
"Time is up," he said; "we must be moving down again
now, or the river will be on to us."
Surger laughed and cried out, I will run another mile
before I return anyhow;" and he rushed up through the
city with new force.
Undine followed him, but now she felt a faint weary
feeling coming over her. Her beauty was going, and her
lovely colours changing to a grey inky hue. The river
was forcing its way down against them, and she and
Surger were soon glad to follow old Lobster Pot down the
river again. Back they went, past the fields, and soon
they felt the pure'sea breeze and lent a hand to swing the
huge ships round at their moorings under the cliffs. They
were glad enough to escape from the dull cold river that
was rushing after them, and sweep round the headland
into the good salt sea, where they could feel alive again,
free and joyous, and afraid of no one in their own
Many a time did they run up rivers like that, and Undine

The First Book of Krab

looked out for the little blue-eyed boy; but she never saw
him. Sometimes they went out to the wide ocean, or
visited the coast towns with Mora, and splashed the ladies
bathing and made them scream and laugh. Always Undine
was looking for her little friend, but she never saw him.
Many were the journeys she made, and wonderful were
the sights she saw; indeed one could fill a book with all
that Undine did and saw when she grew up and became
a wave.
It was now October, and had been wonderfully warm
close weather for the time of the year. The waves were
rolling lazily about out at sea some three miles from the
land. They arched their huge backs and pressed silently
after each other, doing "serpent drill," as they called
it, and weary work it was. The little waves were slapping
at each other angrily, for no better reason than that they
had been told not to but had nothing else to do. They all
seemed uneasy and troubled, yet Undine could not have
told you why she felt in such a strange condition of pent-
up excitement. A rumour ran round that there was to be
a Storm War that evening, and almost before they had
begun to discuss whether this was likely to be true, the
clouds lowered, the sky grew black and dismal, the wind
trumpeted out shouts of battle, huge waves bigger than
old Lobster Pot rushed up the channel in answer to the
summons, and the whole sea was one seething angry
mass of cruel waves bent on destruction.
Now the great battalions of the Sea Wolves, as they
call their fiercest fighting waves, came thundering up
from the Atlantic, breaking and shattering all before
them. Undine had never seen such wild handsome


fellows before. Every one joined them, and soon the
sea was nothing but a reckless mob of madly enraged
waves, moaning and wailing horribly in a frenzy of rage.
Down came the sleet and hail in sharp volleys, as though
from a battery of artillery which had taken up its posi-
tion behind the thick clouds. A solitary storm bird was
driven before the wet rushing wind, with stiff wings and

bent claws, squealing miserably as though to warn the
vessels of their doom.
If you have never been a wave, you cannot under-
stand the wild feeling that seizes you when the Storm
War begins. Even gentle Undine quivered with rage
and sought about for something to destroy. As for
Surger, he was leaping about and yelling like a mad
The fishing smacks had hauled up their nets, or cut
them adrift, and were speeding for the shore. Some few

The First Book of Krab

smaller boats had made for the beach earlier, suspecting
danger. Old Lobster Pot hurried round among his
family, giving orders in loud tones of command.
"There's for you," he shouted to Undine and Surger,
as a small open boat with a single lug sail rushed
through the surf. "He will be making for the little
bay by the cave. Away with you Drive him on to
the rocks !"
A solitary man half sat and half stood in the stern of
the boat, his back to the tiller, the end of the sheet in
his hand. It was passed securely round a pin near to
him. He stooped down to cover up with a spare
sail two little children, girl and boy, who were lying
frightened at the bottom of the boat. Then he set
his teeth, and stared through the blinding hail into the
gathering darkness, to find the opening into the little
Undine and Surger rushed on to the slender little
vessel with all their force. The man skilfully made way
for them, and they passed under the keel of the boat,
doing no harm. The wind howled and shrieked at them
for their failure, and caught the boat with all its might,
driving it past the two waves and nearer to the rocks.
Then Undine and Surger raced on alongside the little
boat until it neared the opening to the bay, and as the
man tried to turn her into the safe harbour, 'the wind
made a terrible effort, and the two waves, leaping
together at the side of the boat, crashed her into the
In a moment the man had thrown back the sail and
seized, from the bottom of the boat, the two children,


who were lying hidden under the sail. They were the
little blue-eyed boy and his sister, Undine. Bravely he
struggled with, them across the rocks and through the
surf to gain the beach. Surger and Undine were after
him, for in her rage and fury she had not .seen that it
was the little blue-eyed boy. Mora and Old Lobster
Pot, with many other big waves, seeing what had
happened, were rushing across the sea towards the bay,
for fear Surger and Undine should not be strong enough
to drown the man. and his children. Happily they were
too late; for before they arrived, the man had gained
the shore, and pulled himself up the slope of the beach,
saving the girl in his arms, but Surger managed to
knock the little boy out of his grasp, and was rolling him
down again into the sea to drown him. The man and
the girl were too stunned and bruised to know whether
they were saved or drowned. A coastguard was running
down the cliff, but he would have been too late to
save the little boy, had not Undine heard him calling
out in despair, as Surger dragged him underneath
the waves, Undine Undine i Save me! Save
me !"
The waters were falling on to him, doing their best
to choke him, when Undine heard the call, and for the
first time since she had been a little ripple, remembered
what the Zephyr had taught her of love and pity. In a
moment she had forgotten her anger, and the fierce
commands of Old Lobster Pot, and the battle shouts
of the Storm War; she thought only of the beautiful
little blue-eyed boy, who was being dragged under the
water and drowned. She rushed past Surger, who tried

The First Book of Krab

his best to stop her, and, heedless of the shouts of Old
Lobster Pot and Mora, who yelled out, "Kill him!
Drown him !" and caring nothing for all the rage and
ravin of the mad waves that pressed round her, she
caught up the little boy on her breast, and with all her
might threw him on to the soft sand, just as the coast-
guard reached the edge of the sea, and was there to pull
him out.
Then, half ashamed and half .overjoyed at what she
had done, she turned back and fled away out to sea.
And there arose such a yell and a shout from the
assembled waves, mingled with the groaning and howling
of the angry wind, that she sped on in the wildest terror
like a hunted hare. And all the waves of the Sea, full of
rage that one of their number should turn traitor and
coward and save a mortal man in a time of Storm War,
gathered together and chased after her.
Away she went down the Channel, across the Bay of
Biscay, round Cape Finisterre, and through the gates of
Gibraltar into the warm Mediterranean; and after her in
hot pursuit raced a surging crowd of fierce and angry
waves. But they were not to punish her for her brave
deed, for there, near the warm shores of Sicily, they say
she met the good Zephyr, who saved her from her
pursuers, taking her into her arms and changing her into
a beautiful cloud.
And the glorious Sun heard the story of Undine, and
was so pleased with what she had done, that he made her
one of his special evening attendants and gave her a
splendid robe of amber and gold. And if you look in
the sky when the sun is setting in the sea, you may see


Undine even to this day, a beautiful golden cloud gazing
lovingly down at the world she used to live in.

Poor little Undine !" sighed Olga. "They were very
cruel to her."
"They didn't know any better, you know," said Kate;
"they were only waves."
"It might not have been different," said Cousin Susan,
"if they had been children."
"Or even grown-ups," added Krab, with a smile.
Never mind," said Molly; "she got a new dress at the
end of the story, so she is all right now, and it's my turn
to choose. I want a story about a haughty little girl-not
too naughty you know-and of course she must end up
good for ever and ever. They always do."
"Right," said Krab; "then I will tell you the story of
the Clockwork Child." And he did so;



I've brought out a new invention,
And shortly my intention,
Is to patent it and sell it in the street;
It's a ripper," and first-rater,"
And I trust that every Pater,
Will take one home to Mother for a treat.
For instead of wasting smacking,
On kiddies bad as blacking,
I'll provide you with a new one, mannered mild;
A delightful little darling,!
As lively as a starling,
A tidy little Clockwork child.

Dickory, Dickory, Dockwork,
Have them built of clockwork,
Then they are not naughty, rude or wild,
But say, If you please," and "Thank you,"
And they don't fly round and spank you;
Not they I
Oh say!
What price for a Clockwork Child ?

You can buy one for a dollar,
That will wear a linen collar,
Keep it clean and quite uncrumpled for a week;

The Clockwork Child

:A kiddy used and able
To sitting still at table,
One that waits until it's spoken to, to speak.
It is warranted for ever,
To be good and kind and clever;
So parents now may give up being riled
By unnecessary riot,
And may live in peace and quiet,
With Pater's Patent Clockwork Child.
Dickory Dickory Dockwork,
Have them built of clockwork,
Then they are not naughty, rude and wild,
But say If you please," and "Thank you,"
And they don't fly round and spank you;
Not they
Oh say !
What price for a Clockwork Child ?
PATER'S Book of Rhymes.

NCE upon a time, there was a Mother and a
Pater who had one little girl named Mary.
When she was a tiny child they used to call
her little Mary," and though- she grew to
be quite a big girl, somehow or other they'went on
calling her "little Mary" most of her life. When she
first came to stay with Mother and Pater, she was a long-
clothes baby, and spent a great deal of time crying, as
though she was sorry she had come to visit them at all.
But in good time she grew bigger and gave this up, and
only cried when she tumbled down and hurt herself or
felt naughty.
Every one said that little Mary was a wonderful baby,
though how she differed from other babies I cannot tell

The First Book of Krab
you. She had two grandmothers; Mother's mother and
Pater's mother. Such nice old ladies they were, with grey
hair and pretty white caps; and they were never tired of

nursing little Mary, and telling Mother-Mary's mother-
that Mary had a nose like Pater, a mouth like Pater's
father, ears like Mother's Aunt Jane, and a chin the very
image of Mother's grandfather, who had been a sea
captain, and whose picture in full uniform, chin and all,

The Clockwork Child
was hanging over the dining-room mantelpiece down-
There was no doubt that Mary was a very wonderful
baby, because Pater took a great interest in her, and Pater
was a very clever man and not likely to be taken in by a
second rater. More than that, Pater had never been
known to be partial to babies as a class, but he used to
spend many hours of a cold winter's night, walking up
and down in his red and yellow dressing-gown, with little
Mary in his arms, singing her to sleep with "Onward,
Christian Soldiers," while she hbwled at the top of her
voice. You may be sure Pater would not have done that
for any ordinary baby.
Well, she grew bigger and bigger, her lungs got
stronger and her squeal more piercing every day, and at
last she learned to crow. Now a little dark fluff appeared
above her forehead, and then the two grandmothers
clapped their hands with joy, and both of them declared
that she would be walking and talking before any one
would have time to turn round. However, there was a
good deal of turning round to be done before anything
of this sort happened, and the first really great event
that occurred in Mary's life was the arrival of her first
It never got into the newspapers, but that is because
you can never trust an editor to hear about the really
important things of this world; however, both the grand-
mothers know all about it, and they will tell you that the
day little Mary's first tooth was found was Friday,
February Ist. Mother made a note of it in her account
book, and Pater made an entry in his diary at the office,

The First Book of Krab

" M's tooth to hand," which I have seen for myself. Not
that I believe the tooth was to be seen on that 'day, nor
could you feel it with your finger, but Nurse had dis-
covered it with a thimble, and felt prouder and happier
than Columbus did when he discovered America.
For several days afterwards, if Mary was in a good
temper, and would allow Nurse to do it, visitors were
allowed to hear this real tooth grate against the thimble.
Ah that was a treat The time came when you could
actually see the tooth with your own eyes, but that was
not for a long time afterwards. It was strange what a lot
of trouble Mother and Pater and the two grandmothers
would take to coax Mary to let them see that tooth;
because, after all, it was not an extra big one, and was no
good to chump things with for many a month. After the
first tooth was well through, others came, but there was
not so much fuss about these; in fact, they made little
Mary so fractious and noisy at night-time, that Pater once
shocked the two grandmothers by saying that he did not
care if she never had any more.
The months went on, and little Mary learned to crawl,
and then to toddle, and then to walk. She learned to
call Pater Papee," and all her aunts and uncles and the
two grandmothers and Mother and Pater gathered round
to listen, and could not have been prouder of her if she
had been a talking kingfisher. Months became years,
and little Mary learned her A B C; first the big letters,
and then the little letters ; and she had the measles, and
the whooping-cough, and got quite well after them, and
grew up to be a big bouncing girl; until, at the time I
am writing about, she was about eight years old, and as

The Clockwork Child-

any child of six knows, that is being very nearly quite
grown up.
Little Mary had no brothers and sisters, and, perhaps,
this was one reason why Mother and Pater and the two
grandmothers allowed her to have a great deal too much
of her own way. Indeed, if she had not been a very
amiable child she would have been quite spoiled and not
fit to play with at all. Even as it was, I am sorry to say,
she was growing rather cross and selfish at times, nor
was she as kind and good to Mother as all little girls
should be. She used to linger about the room when she
was told to go to bed, and sometimes so far forgot herself
as to bang the door after her in a temper, if she was sent
off before she was quite ready to go. This was rather
hard on the door, for it was not the door's fault, anyhow.
When little Mary was seven years old, she went to school.
Her reports came home every term, and her conduct
was described each time as Excellent," "Noble," "A i,"
or "Spiffing," or words to that effect. However, it did
not improve much at home; but, when Mother asked
Mary how that was, she explained .that "it was quite
different there, because they taught you to be good at
The grandmothers said that it was Pater's fault, and
that he ought to talk to her seriously. So Pater took her
in hand, and pointed out to her, in his gravest tones, that
no one would ever love little children who were selfish
and rude. This was all very well for a beginning, but it
always ended in the same way. Little Mary used to get
round Pater by asking him to tell her stories of what he
did wheh he was a little boy. Then he used to stop his

The First Book of Krab
lecture, and went off into a series of stories about all sorts
of scrapes and adventures, to which Mary listened with
breathless interest, until Mother came in to find her
laughing over these stories instead of listening to a grave
reproof from Pater about her naughty ways. So, from
one cause and another, she did not grow too good to be
true ;" and though I believe she tried to grow wiser and
less naughty, she did not succeed much better than any-
body else.
One winter's evening Mother and Pater were sitting in
the study thinking about little Mary. They rarely thought
about anything else, for you see they had no little boy to
think about. That day had been a bad day with her.
She had spilled her cocoa on to a clean tablecloth at tea-
time. She had left four books, a paint box, a cap and a
top behind her on the drawing-room sofa when she went
off to bed; and I am more than grieved to say, that when
sent for to come and put them away, she had returned
grumbling and crying as though she were being ill-used,
and finally rushed out of the room in a temper and
slammed the door. No wonder then, that long after
Mary was asleep, poor Mother and Pater sat over the fire
late in the evening, not talking much to each other, but
both thinking very much, and very sadly, about their little
Mother was reading a learned book on education,
entitled, "How to Bring up Your Daughters," by an Old
Maid, and Pater was smoking a pipe and looking through
Mr. Sutton's "Catalogue of Garden Seeds," to see if he
could buy -a packet of birch-tree seeds to plant in the
garden in the spring.

The Clockwork Child

At length Mother put down her book with a sigh and
said, "She is very untidy and very naughty when I speak
to her."
"I don't suppose she is much worse than other
children," replied Pater gloomily; "biut I do wish she
would not slam the door."
"She was such a dear, good little baby, too," said
Mother sighing again.
"H'm !" grunted Pater, for he was thinking of Onward,
Christian Soldiers," at one in the morning, and was
rather glad, on the whole, that Mary had taken to
growing up.
She was the dearest and best baby in the world," said
Mother rather angrily.
"Certainly, my dear. Certainly," replied Pater, shaking
his head and smoking away at his pipe, as though the
matter were too difficult for him to bother about any
more. "You are always right. She was an excellent
baby, and she has grown up into a naughty little girl; let
us hope she will grow up into a good young woman."
"That is foolish," said Mother decidedly; "something
ought to be done or I don't know what will happen to
There's nothing to be done," said Pater wearily ; "but
to let her grow."
"There's always something to be done," said Mother
"There's always something to be done," echoed a voice
from the fireplace, and there, sitting on the top bar of the
grate with his back to a live coal, sat a little dwarf about
four feet high, dressed in an old blue and yellow suit,

The First Book of Krab

grinning at Mother and Pater as though he was quite
amused at their troubles. "What is the matter with you
two ?" he said. If two grown-ups cannot manage one
seven-year old child, the world has come to a pretty pass
anyhow. Hand round the tobacco and tell us what is
the matter ?"
Pater was too surprised to answer him. He handed
the little man his tobacco pouch in silence, and watched
him curiously as he filled his pipe, lighted it from a live
coal, and began puffing the smoke in big white rings over
'he top of his head so that it flew up the chimney.
"Now then," he said impatiently, when his pipe was
well alight; "make haste and let me know what you are
grumbling about. I have a dozen other cases to visit
to-night, and if you want me to help you now is your
So Mother and Pater told him all their worries and
troubles about little Mary, from the date of the first tooth
onwards, which did not seem to amount to very much
after all, and their visitor sat upon the hob smoking and
smiling, and looking as though he had heard the same old
story many hundred times, and expected to hear it many
hundred times more.
"Well," he said when they came to a pause, what you
want is a Clockwork Child."
"A Clockwork Child !" repeated Mother and Pater in
"Yes, a Clockwork Child One that gets up at half-
past seven, goes to bed quietly at a quarter-past seven,
never contradicts any one, always says 'Please' and
'"Thank you,' never cries at all, speaks when she is spoken

The Clockwork Child

to, and does as she is bid. You may find a bit of diffi-
culty at first, perhaps, in getting her to bed at quarter-
past seven. -Even a Clockwork Child does not go off to bed
as well as it might. They always gets a little slow about
bedtime. They will try an extra ten minutes, and it's
dangerous to give it to them, for they ought to be wound
up and put to bed, regularly, or else they may run down
and there is an end of them. Except for that, a Clock-
work Child is perfect."
Ah !" sighed Mother, "it sounds too good to be true.
A Clockwork Child would be perfect."
"H'm grunted Pater, "I suppose that is what we do
want; but he did not seem very sure about it.
"Well," continued the stranger, "if you do want one,
have your wish. What lessons does little Mary do ? "
"'Blue Poetry book,' subtraction in money, first
declension in Latin, and 'Citizen Reader' dictation,"
replied Pater with some pride.
"I can give you a Clockwork Child warranted to do
all that for five shillings and sixpence," replied their
Five shillings and sixpence," said Pater thoughtfully,
"is a lot of money. It would buy a whole pound of
Oh, I will pay it out of housekeeping," said Mother.
"I shall save it in a week in breakages." Mother then
took out her purse and paid the little man five shillings
and sixpence, which she put down in her account book
under the head of Sundries."
The stranger counted the money, put it into his pocket,
and gave her a little key like a watch key saying, In the

The First Book of Krab

morning you will find a Clockwork Child instead of little
Mary. She is wound up under the left ear."
Like our clockwork mouse ? asked Pater.
"Very much in the same way," he replied, "about
seven turns will do it, and take care not to overwind her.
She will do all I have promised, and I wish you joy of
your bargain." So saying, he vanished up the chimney,
leaving Mother and Pater alone with the key staring at
each other in amazement.
"Well, I hope you were right about it," said Mother
"Why, my darling," said Pater, "it was your suggestion
not mine."
"Nonsense," replied Mother, calmly but firmly, and
that ended the conversation; for when Mother said
" Nonsense" there was nothing more to be said.
The next morning when little Mary got up, she did not
fight her nurse about turning the tap on for the bath,
as she often used to do, and she stood still the whole
time her hair was being done, so that Nurse had not once
to tap her on the head with the back of the hairbrush
to keep her still. The consequence was that she was
down to breakfast, had tied her feeder on, and was waiting
in her place with her hands folded in front of her when
Mother came down.
Mother looked at her rather anxiously. "Did you
have a good night, Mary ?" she asked.
"Yes, thank you, Mother dear," replied Mary; and as
Mother kissed her she looked behind her left ear, and
there sure enough was the tiny place to wind her up;
and the child before her, though exactly like little Mary

The Clockwork Child
in every respect, was a little Clockwork Child, just as the
dwarf had promised.
Breakfast went on much as usual, except that little
Mary did not spill anything at all, and never went round
behind Pater's newspaper to persuade him to give her
butter and marmalade together when Mother was not
looking. There was no sulking at the porridge, so break-
fast was quickly over, and Mary went off to get ready
for school, shutting the door so peacefully that you could
scarcely hear it close.
Holloa !" cried Pater, after a minute or two, looking
up from his newspaper, where is Mary ?"
"Gone to get ready for school," replied Mother.
"Well, I never heard her go," said Pater.
"That comes of buying a Clockwork Child, and I call
it money well spent."
"You don't say it has all turned out to be true," said
Pater, "and Mary is a Clockwork Child with a place to
wind her up, and everything as promised ?"
Mother nodded proudly.
My word !" said Pater, whistling to himself softly,
"what glorious times we shall have now, to be sure."
"Of course we shall," said Mother, smiling. "Are not
you glad now that you took my advice about it ?"
Pater was going to reply, but Mary came in ready for
school, with her hair neatly brushed out of her eyes, her
hat quite straight, and all the books tidily packed into
her satchel. "Come along, Mary, we will pick a few
strawberries out of the garden," said Pater, putting down
his newspaper.
"No, thank you, Pater, dear," replied Mary. "After

The First Book of Krab

the heavy rain last night, walking on the beds might make
my feet wet. We had better put it off until this even-
Mother smiled contentedly. Pater stared at the child,
and went back to his newspaper. Mary went quietly off
to school at exactly the proper pace, refusing to race with
Charlie, who often met her at the gate, because, as she
told him, they might get over-heated. Charlie called her
a Molly Coddle, whatever that is, and had a race by him-
When Mother had seen Mary off, she said to Pater in
great glee, "Now I call that a really great improve-
"Perhaps," replied Pater slowly, but not as though
he was very sure of what he was saying. Perhaps."
I need hardly tell you that Mary was most successful at
school. All her lessons went off like the clockwork inside
her. Not a mistake in the poetry, no blots on the copy-
book, and the behaviour in class was perfect. When
they went out into the playground, things were different,
and something seemed to have gone wrong with little
Mary altogether.
The other children could not make it out. Yesterday
little Mary had been one of the best players at cricket and
rounders in the school, and now she not only could not
play at all, but seemed to have forgotten what the games
were like.
You see, Pater had not told the dwarf that.he wanted a
little girl who could play games, and when you are order-
ing a Clockwork Child it is very important to mention
everything that you want and to see you get it.

The Clockwork Child

However, the poetry had been so well said that morning
that the Schoolmistress said she cold go out of the Blue
Poetry Book" into "A Thousand and One Gems," which
every one who understands anything about poetry knows
is a great advance. And when little Mary arrived home
with her new volume, and told her Mother about it,
Mother was very proud of her clever little girl. Mary
herself did not seem in the least interested about it.
Instead of romping with the kitten as usual, she sat down
quietly on her chair with her hands in front of her, and
said nothing until dinner-time.
After dinner-at which Mary had eaten two helpings of
rice pudding and not even asked for apple tart-Mother
said she must learn her poetry before she went into the
garden to play, and instead of howling and weeping and
rolling on the floor, and telling Mother she was cruel and
unkind, she sat at the table without a murmur and read
her poetry over to herself, never once tipping her chair on
one leg or taking her eyes from her book.
"Ah," said Mother to herself, as she went on with her
knitting, "this is indeed a pleasant change. I should like
Pater to see his little.girl now; he would admit that I was
right to propose having a Clockwork Child."
The minutes sped on and became half-an-hour, and
that lengthened on towards an hour, and still little Mary
sat at the table quietly reading her poetry to herself.
This was quite unlike her, for, though she often missed
out a line and got the little words in the wrong place, she
generally learned her poetry quickly.
At last Mother said to her: "Mary, don't you know
your poetry ?"

The First Book of Krab

Mary turned round. I'm afraid not, Mother, dear. I
cannot get it into my head."
"Let me hear what you know," said Mother, and she
took the book while little Mary stood.up with her arms
behind her.
In vain did Mother start her with a word, then with
two or three words, and then with a whole line. She did
not know a syllable of it. Then Mother tried to teach it
to her, but it was no use, and at last Mother gave it up in
despair and sent her off for a walk with her Nurse, saying
they would try again after tea.
After tea Pater came in, and he and Mother went at it
together, and though little Mary seemed to do her best
they could make nothing of it. At last a curious idea
occurred to Pater, and he took up the "Blue Poetry Book."
Piece after piece he asked little Mary to say, and she
knew them all. "It's just as I thought," he sighed.
"That wretched little man has sent us a Clockwork Child
that can only do 'Blue Poetry Book,' and our little Mary
will never be able to learn any poetry except what is in
that book." And Pater put his head on the table at the
thought of this terrible calamity, and wept aloud.
It's all your fault," cried Mother quite angrily. You
ordered the kind of lessons you wanted and of course
you have got them; but it's very provoking. I suppose
she will have to remain in the same class all her life."
Pater groaned.
"However," said Mother cheerily-she always made
the best of things, did Mother-" as long as she is a nice,
quiet little girl, that won't matter much. Now run along,
Mary, and put on your best frock, and come down into

The Clockwork Child

the drawing-room, and you may sit up to see the visitors-
till a quarter-past seven. Not a moment later."
Oh, do let me sit up until half-past seven," said little
Mary, imploringly.
Pater raised his head quite joyfully at this, and said,
"Yes, of course she may," just as Mother was saying
No." So Mother laughed and said, "Well, for once in a
way, and as we have visitors coming, you may sit up;
but only for half an hour."
Little Mary looked very nice in her best frock as she
sat in the drawing-room. Mother had never seen her
look so neat and tidy before, because as a rule when
visitors came, even if you dressed her up at the last
minute, she got her hair rumpled before any one
The visitors came about seven o'clock. Little Mary
shook hands and said How do you do ? to each of them.
Even when Uncle Henry came she made no difference,
although as a rule she used to fling her arms round his
neck, and hug him till his collar was limp, which for
some reason or other that I have never understood,
Mother did not approve of.
"What is the matter with little Mary, Sis," said Uncle
Henry to Mother, as he looked at the demure little figure
sitting on the edge of a chair with her hands folded on
her lap. "She looks jolly starchy, to-night."
Little Mary," said Mother in her most dignified tones,
"is greatly improved, I am glad to say."
"You look pretty-mopish, Mary, old lady, said Uncle
Henry; I guess you want me to come and romp you

The First Book of Krab,

No thank you, Uncle Henry," replied Mary. I had
much rather sit still, thank you."
- Mother smiled approval.
"Whew !" whistled Uncle Henry, "that kid has got
measles or something of the sort. I never saw her like
that before. I'll speak to Pater about her. She ought to
see a doctor."
Uncle Henry went across the room to try and speak to
Pater, but he was talking to some ladies. The clock
struck a quarter past seven. The ladies and gentlemen
talked away to each other, and no one noticed little Mary
sitting quietly in her chair. She grew paler and paler
until she was as white as a tablecloth. Her eyes closed,
and her arms fell limp by her side. The servant an-
nounced dinner, and every one was leaving the room,
when Uncle Henry turned to say good-night to little
Mary, and he was shocked to see her head hanging over
the back of the chair. She has fainted," he shouted out,
and running to her, he caught hold of her arm to move
her, crying out, Mary, old lady, look up What is the
matter with you ? "
But Mary did not speak a word or open her eyes to
look at Uncle Henry. She just rolled over in a heap on
the floor and the wheels inside her went click clack !
click clack whirr for she had sat up too late and
had run down, as the little dwarf had told them she
would do.
Pater picked her up, and he and Mother carried her to
bed. They tried to wind her up, but they could not do
so. Her spring seemed to be broken, and the key went
round and round without turning anything inside. They

The Clockwork Child

went down to dinner, and all the guests inquired anxiously
about little Mary.
"She is a bit run down," said Pater ; "she will soon be
all right I think."
"Yes," said Mother, "that's it; run down."
It's the weather," said an old lady who sat near Pater.
" I feel it myself ;" and she told Pater all about her own
ailments, and the kind of medicine she liked best, and the
sort.of pills she took, and where she bought them, until
Pater began to wish she was a clockwork old lady and
would run down too.
As soon as the last of the guests were gone-Uncle
Henry had come to stay the night-Mother and Pater and
Uncle Henry went upstairs to see how little Mary was.
Much to Mother's and Pater's surprise she was sleeping
peacefully, her colour had come back again, and she was
breathing regularly and softly. They each kissed her
gently so as not to wake her, and stepped lightly out of
her room.
Holloa," cried Uncle Henry to Pater as he picked a
letter off the mat in front of the door, "you are leaving
your letters all over the place."
The letter was sealed, and Pater broke the seal and read
it hurriedly. Then he handed it to Mother, and taking
Uncle Henry downstairs, gave him one of his best cigars,
and told him funny stories over which they laughed so
much that at last Mother knocked overhead with a shovel
to notify that it was really bed time.
Now what made Pater so jolly was the letter, which
was from the little dwarf, and it ran like this :

The First Book of Krab

If you can't take more care of a Clockwork Child,
you don't deserve to have one. I have brought your own
little Mary back. I left her for a day at Slapland. I sh'an't
let you have another Clockwork Child until you pay for the
mending of the one you have broken, which will be 3s."
The next morning when Mary came down there was
no doubt that she was not a little Clockwork Child. She
flew at Uncle Henry and hugged him as of old; she
would not eat her porridge until Uncle Henry started a
porridge race with her; she left the door open when she
went upstairs, and said "Bother.!" when told to come
and shut it. Uncle Henry took her off to school, and
Mother and Pater watched them from the window and
saw him holding the satchel while he started a race
between Charlie and Mary.
"I wish Harry would be more careful," said Mother
anxiously. "The child will get terribly over-heated
running like that."
"Nonsense," said Pater; "it will do the child no harm.
She is not a Clockwork Child."
"No, indeed," said Mother indignantly. "The next
Clockwork Child I shall order myself. A nice mess you
made of it."
"We will never have another Clockwork Child at all,"
said Pater firmly. They are not worth the having."
"Well," replied Mother, "I do not think they are; but
I do wish Mary would behave a little better."
Now whether it was because Mother kept on wishing
it, or because little Mary had spent a day in Slapland, or
because Mother and Pater, as time went on, began to

The Clockwork Child
expect little Mary to be less perfect, and little Mary began
to try hard to be more perfect, or whether it-was for some
other reason altogether I do not know; only this I can
tell you, that as little Mary grew bigger, she grew better
and wiser and happier, and Mother and Pater never
thought any more about buying a Clockwork Child.


I don't approve of that story," said Cousin Susan.
"I think it's jolly," said Molly, for she had chosen it
and felt bound to like it.
You ought not to make out that a naughty child can
be nicer than a good one," continued Cousin Susan.
"Who did ?" replied Krab. "It was only clockwork
goodness.. You forget that."
"You can't be good by clockwork, that is nonsense,"
said Cousin Susan.
"Of course it is," said Krab smiling; "nonsense, utter
nonsense. But there are tons of clockwork goodness in

The First Book of Krab

the market just now, and precious little of the real article."
He shook his head gravely as he spoke.
Well, never mind all that," said Olga. Let Cousin
Susan have my turn and choose her own story and I will
choose last."
"Thank you, dear," said Cousin Susan; "and I will
have a proper story with a proper moral at the end."
"A be-good-and-you-will-be-happy sort of story,"
suggested Krab.
Cousin Susan nodded approval, and Krab began without
further preface the story of Bobby's Paint-box.



When first I took to sketching,
I thought it rather fetching,
To illuminate a sky with pure cobalt;
And I own I used to think
There was poetry in pink,
For I loved those gentle madders to a fault.
Neither Hooker's green nor sap
For the trees were worth a rap,
And I must admit by foliage I was floored;
While the lordly use of chrome,
When I took my picture home,
Made me wonder was there biliousness abroad.

Bright streaks of gay vermilion
Make a sunset for the million,
They believe the sun is orange, but it ain't;
For old Turner, clever fellow,
Knew it set in lemon yellow,
And the sun was made of paper, not of paint.
I have noticed, have not you?
That a sea of Prussian blue
Is not half so near to nature as one thought;
While the use of Vandyke brown,
On the tree trunks out of town,
Proves the colotrfs will not paint the things they ought.

The First Book of Krab
See Macgregor with a chalk
Make a goblin that can walk,
You might think it was as easy as can be;
Though the way he models facts
Out of little bits of wax,
Is a miracle and mystery to me.
So I'll leave if to Macgregor,
Who's an artful sort of beggar,
And his skilfulness I'll celebrate in song;
For it's more within my powers,
To sit watching him for hours,
While I smoke a pipe and tell him where he's wrong.
PATER'S Book of Rhymes.

ONCE upon a time there was a little boy
named Bobby, who had no end of nice
toys, including the biggest furniture van
you ever saw-bigger than a big Noah's
Ark-with his name painted outside, and a horse to draw
it that came in and out of the shafts. Bobby had a fine
time of it, I can tell you. Besides the furniture van, he
had a tin hansom cab, a carriage and pair made of the
same material, a stuffed donkey, a wooden Dobbin, and
a railway lurry; and though he was only seven years
old, he had already arranged with the cabman at the
corner of the road to go into partnership with him when
he grew up into a big man, which really could not be
long now at the rate he was growing. Meanwhile he
met the cabman every day to discuss business with him,
and they talked about each other's horses and cabs in a
knowing way, as men of the same trade usually do when
they meet each other.
When he was eight years old he had a lot of presents.

Bobby's Paint-Box

There were so many that I cannot remember them all,
but I know that Uncle Arnold gave him a paint box.
It was a real old-fashioned paint box; not one of your
tin smudge boxes that are sold nowadays for a shilling,
with twopence off if you haggle for it, but a good old
solid mahogany box, with a lock and key, and a drawer
underneath, and eighteen big fat cakes of different
colours, with a lion stamped on one side and a coat of
arms on the other. You do not meet with a box like
that in these times, and indeed it had belonged to Uncle
Arnold when he was a little boy, and he had had it fitted
up with all the same kind of paints and materials that had
been in it when it was first given to him. There were
six camel's-hair brushes in quills, with black sticks to fit
into them, and three red sable brushes as well; a little
cut-glass tub for the water; a plump round black stick
of Indian ink, decorated with golden Chinese letters,
lying in a compartment made for himself; and two
shells, one of gold, and the other of silver, lying under-
neath the tray that held the colours. Then there was a
palette, with three compartments to it, so that the colours
should not get mixed together when you rubbed them,
and each colour had a little place to rest in by itself,
with a name under it. All the good old colours were
there-scarlet red, vermilion, Prussian blue, carmine,
emerald green, crimson lake, two or three chrome
yellows, all looking brighter than each other, and a cake
of green bice, which was enough to make you bilious to
look at it. Uncle Arnold spent the afternoon with
Bobby, showing him how to mix up the paints, and
paint some old Graphic pictures, and such fine fun they

The First Book of Krab
had, that Bobby determined to go out of the carting
trade, and become an artist. He told the cabman this
the next morning on his way to school; but he only
shook his head gloomily and said it was very cold sitting
on the pavement, and he did not think it would come to
any good. Little Bobby, however, thought there was a
lot in it, so he stabled all his horses and carts in a
corner of the nursery, and turned his serious attention
to the painting business.
Perhaps the noblest paint of all was a flesh tint.
You do not meet them about nowadays, and you are left
to mix up vermilion and white, or yellow ochre and
carmine, and do the best you can with those, which is a
very slipshod arrangement altogether; because if you
get too much red into it the faces look all on fire, and if
you get too much yellow you think they have got the
jaundice, and if there is too much white they look pale
and frightened, as if they were afraid of something.
But with a flesh tint there can be no mistakes of that
kind, and everybody's face is just the right colour, and
the same colour, too, which is all very natural and
Uncle Arnold had taken a lot of trouble to get that
flesh tint, and it lived in the drawer underneath the box
by itself, for there was no place for it in the tray. Uncle
Arnold had found it in an old-fashioned shop down a
by-street, kept by a little old woman who: had stencil
figures, and toy theatre slides, and penny sheets to make
into toy villages, and a lot of quaint forgotten toys that
Uncle Arnold used to amuse himself with years ago.
"It's the last flesh tint I have got, sir," said the old lady

Bobby's Paint-Box

with a sigh, "and it's a twopenny one. There used to be
a great run on them when those theatre plays were all the
go, but no one wants them in these times."
"I've heard it said," replied Uncle Arnold, gravely,

"that a good flesh tint will bring the people painted with
it to life."
"Lor', sir! you don't say so," said the old woman,
looking anxiously at the paint through her spectacles.
"No," replied Uncle Arnold, "I don't say so. I only
say I've heard say so ;" and he put the paint into his pocket
and took it home to Bobby.
There happened to be a wet afternoon about a week
after the paint-box arrived, and Uncle Arnold and Bobby

The First Book of Krab

had a grand day's painting together. They chose a picture
of a royal wedding out of an old number of the Graphic.
Bobby chose the colours and mixed them and laid them
on, except where it was too difficult for him, and there
Uncle Arnold came in. It was a real grand wedding. A
royal Bride with six Bridesmaids and a Page, a royal Bride-
groom in full uniform, with a best man in a grand uniform
too. Several Beefeaters with spears in their hands standing
by to keep order; an Archbishop and two Bishops in full
robes standing at the altar; and lots of Emperors, Princes,
and Princesses, Lords and Ladies, crowding the church. I
remember that the Earl of Beaconsfield stood in the front
of the picture with his back to the bride, in a gorgeous
uniform, with a cocked hat under his arm, smiling out
into space, and there were other famous people there
whose names I have quite forgotten.
Uncle Arnold and Bobby sat on the floor and looked
at the picture with pleasure, for there was plenty to go at.
Let us begin with the Bride," suggested Uncle Arnold.
"All right!" cried Bobby, gazing at her long flowing
train with great satisfaction. "I can do her dress. Shall
it be scarlet red, or vermilion ?"
It ought to be white," said Uncle Arnold, smiling.
Oh, I'm to choose the colours, Uncle, you promised,"
replied Bobby.
"Very well, then. Which is it to be ?" said his uncle.
Bobby decided on vermilion, and very fine the Bride
looked with her long vermilion train carried by two
Prussian blue Pages, and surrounded by six emerald green
Bridesmaids with rose pink sashes.
The Bridegroom had a scarlet coat and burnt umber

Bobby's Paint-Box

trousers. It would not do," as Bobby remarked when
he picked out the burnt umber, "to have them all too
smart." However, Uncle Arnold pleaded to be allowed
to put a stripe of gold from the shell down the side of his
trousers and a silver star on his breast, and as Bobby did
not object, this was done, much to the benefit of the
Bridegroom's personal appearance.
The Bishops, with their big sleeves and long robes,
came out very well when these were painted with green
bice. The Archbishop was to have worn a robe of orange
chrome; but unfortunately Bobby, in painting the Bishops,
ran into the Archbishop, and so he had to be green bice
too; "and this," as Bobby said cheerfully, "was much
better, for now you know exactly what they are meant
The Earl of Beaconsfield was next dealt with, as he
stood right in the front, and Bobby felt that he deserved
a great deal of care and attention. Chrome yellow trousers
he was clearly worthy of, and as the indigo had not been
used yet, it was chosen for his coat. It was a bit gloomy,
perhaps, but Uncle Arnold livened it up with a carmine
sash across his shoulder and some silver trimming to the
cuffs and coat-tails, not forgetting four gold. stars on his
breast. Indeed, when he was finished Bobby thought he
looked too grand altogether, and felt rather sorry for the
Bride; for if she had looked round and seen the Earl of
Beaconsfield she would have hardly been satisfied with
her Bridegroom in the. burnt umber trousers. The Beef-
eaters and the crowd were next attended to, and all the
paints that had not been used were given a fair turn, so
that a sap green Beefeater stood near a lemon yellow

The First Book of Krab

Duke, and the sons and daughters of Emperors were
clothed in purple lake -and rose madder. Never was there
a wedding party of such splendour and glory as that, and
it was all Bobby's own choice.
Uncle Arnold did the faces, arms, and hands, last of all,
with the new flesh tint; and this made them look "quite
real," Bobby said. Then they pinned the picture up
against the nursery door and sat on.the floor to admire it.
It's just grand," said Bobby, amazed at the result of
his own efforts. "Grand And we have used all the
paints, too," and he looked round admiringly at the row
of damp cakes drying on the lid, edge upwards.
"No, we never used this," said Uncle Arnold, picking up
the stick of Indian ink in his fingers.
"Bother!" cried Bobby; "give it me and I'll mix
it up now."
Bobby mixed it up on one side of the palette and said
in a disappointed tone, It's only another old black after
"We might have used it for some of the boots if we
had thought of it," said Uncle Arnold.
The boots had however all been painted by this time,
one pair with ivory black and the next with Vandyke
brown, right across the picture-a very happy idea of
Bobby's which gave a little variety and cheerfulness even
to such a dull subject as boots.
We will use him another day," said Bobby, and he put
him back in his little compartment.
The bell rang for tea and away scampered Bobby, leaving
the paints on the floor, and the picture pinned to the
door. Uncle Arnold followed more slowly, and as he cast

Bobby's Paint-Box

a last look at the picture he burst into a wild fit of
laughter; though what there is to laugh at about a Royal
Wedding with Beefeaters, and Dukes, and the Earl of
Beaconsfield there, I really cannot say.
After tea, Uncle Arnold suggested that Bobby should go
up and put his paints away, but Bobby said he would do it
at bed time, as he had to play a game of German billiards
just then against himself, which could not be put off for a
minute, of course. At bed time they were forgotten, and
there they were when Mother and Pater came to bed
at eleven o'clock, drying themselves on the lid of the box
as before.
Pater laughed even more heartily at the Royal Wedding
than Uncle Arnold had done, but Mother said she thought
it was very nice indeed, and was rather cross with Pater
for laughing at it. "'But," she added, "I wish Bobby
would be more tidy. I must send him up to put his paints
away the first thing before breakfast."
Mother and Pater closed the door gently and went off
to bed, and all was silent throughout the house except for
the regular ticking of the clocks, who seem to be able
to manage without any rest at all.
They had not been gone half an hour, when suddenly
the nursery gas was turned up to its full height, lighting
the room brilliantly, and there, on the bar of the gas-
bracket, sat a little imp, with pointed ears, and a grin
between them that spread right across his face. It was a
Brownie, and it was his job just now to tidy up this
particular nursery. It was a very hard place, and no good
Brownies undertake nursery tidying, nor indeed are they
ever set to do it, unless they have been very naughty; for

The First Book of Krab

a month of it would kill a really sturdy Brownie, it is such
a terribly hard task. This particular Brownie had been
extremely naughty, and had been sentenced to three days
nursery tidying, which is a very severe punishment, I can
tell you. This was his last day and he was off home in
Sthe morning.
He sat and looked wearily at the paint box. It will take
me two hours to get that straight," he grumbled. "All these
paints have places of their own, and I don't know one
from the other. It would be fine fun to make them tidy
He thought for a moment with his head on one side,
and then he leaped lightly on to the table, thence to the
floor, and ran round the box three times chanting some
strange words in an unknown tongue.
As soon as he finished, a most wonderful thing
happened. All the paints jumped to their feet and began
chattering away as hard as they could; and the strangest
thing of all was that each cake had a pair of little feet, a
pair of little arms, and a tiny face of its own. The brushes
rose slowly and strolled arm in arm proudly round the
room. The Indian Ink sprang to his feet, and danced
madly about round the nursery rug, as though he were very
angry; while the gold and silver shells shook hands in a
kindly way, for they used to know each other long ago
when they lived together on a seaweed shore by the mouth
of a big river, and they had not met to speak to each
other since. As for the little cut-glass water-tub, he
strolled leisurely to the fire and warmed himself, for he
said he felt very cold.
"Now you paints and brushes," shouted the Brownie,

Bobby's Paint-Box

"into your places all of you, and off to sleep at
"Never !" shouted the Indian Ink in a frenzy of rage;
"never till I have had my revenge. Revenge revenge !"
and he screamed it at the top of his voice until you would
have thought he would wake the house up.
"Revenge revenge !" shouted all the paints together.
"What is the matter ?" asked the Brownie, who
felt very sorry he had not put away the paints him-
"Matter enough," said the Indian Ink; "here am I, the
King of the box, with a uniform of gold letters all over
me, and they have not put a single dab of me into that
picture; not a dab."
"You ought to have been used for the boots, certainly,"
said the Brownie, soothingly.
"Of course I ought," said the Indian Ink; "and I ought
to have been used for the Earl of Beaconsfield's hair
too." And he shot off and shook his fist furiously in the
face of the smiling Earl. The Earl's hair had been
painted brown ochre, which gave him a young and
jaunty appearance, but he said nothing to the angry little
paint who went on abusing him violently, Indeed, I do
not see how a statesman could be expected to argue a
point of that kind with a lump of Indian Ink who was too
angry even to be civil.
"It was the Brown Ochre's fault !" shouted his big
brother, the Yellow Ochre, who was really jealous of
him, having himself only been used for the floor, where
he did not show to much advantage, as the boots had run
into him in several places.

The First Book of Krab

"It was not at all," said the Chrome Yellow. "He
could not help it."
"You shut up. Who asked you ?" said the Brown
Ochre rudely.
Shut it yourself !" shouted the Yellow Ochre; and
before any one could prevent it, they had-gone for each
other and were punching chips off one another in a dis-
graceful way.
The rest of the paints stood round to see the fight,
crying out : Go it, Chrome Give it him, Ochre !"
" Punch him "Whack him as loudly as ever they
could. What would have been the end of the two
quarrelsome colours I do not know, but before the fight
had gone on many moments, the glass water-tub came
pushing through the crowd and emptied itself over the
two fighters. This cooled all the fight out of them and
they ran off to shake themselves dry by the fire. Half
the crowd got spattered with water, too, and grumbled
and growled at the water-glass for interfering, but he was
too big to mind what they said, and rolled away to a
corner of the nursery where he curled up and went to
"Now do tell me where you all go, and get to bed,"
said the Brownie; but not one of the paints would listen
to him at all. A big camel's-hair brush was strolling
round the room arm-in-arm with a charming young sable
brushlet with a graceful silver-tin neck. They walked up
to the picture.
It is very lovely," sighed the sable brush.
"Those foolish paints seem to think it is all their work,
whereas without us they would never be seen at all. I

Bobby's Paint-Box
put all that yellow ochre on the floor by myself," con-
tinued the camel's-hair brush. How beautiful it is."
The sable brush was not attending to him at all,

"Without the gold and silver, the picture would not be
worth looking at," she said, "and that was my work.
That is really the best part."
The camel's-hair brush was going to explain to her
that she was all wrong; but he was very much in love

The First Book of Krab

with her, so all he said was, Certainly, my love, you are
very clever, and as beautiful as you are clever." But he
determined in his own mind to put the thing right after
they were married. When he said this the sable blushed
crimson, but they were not real blushes; she had been
used for carmine and Bobby had forgotten to wash her
afterwards. The camel's-hair brush, however, did not
know this, and drew her nearer to him and kissed her
gently. They were both very happy.
When they returned to their companions they found
that the Chinese White was standing on top of the paint
box just beginning to sing a song, and the paints and
brushes had gathered in a ring round the box to hear
him. The Brownie was among them, for he had given
up trying to persuade the paints to go to bed, and thought
he might as well enjoy himself as there was nothing else
to be done. The Indian Ink sat in front on the edge of
the palette, and calling for order in a loud voice
announced: "The Chinese White, by royal request, will
sing the ballad of the Gay Gamboge."
Then the Chinese White, who had a fine tenor voice,
threw his head back and poured forth his song, all the
paints and brushes, together with the Brownie, repeating
the last line as a chorus.


Oh the Gay Gamboge was a lively sort,
He had been to college and lived at Court,
And his heart was proud, but he lived to sue
For the hand of the tender Antwerp Blue,
And the world sang Well-a-day !

Bobby's Paint-Box

So they were married, and soon their joy
Was a bouncing, bonny, bright, baby boy,
A golden green little cake of a chap,
And Godfather Indigo named him Sap,
But the world sang Well-a-day !

Then Sap had a sister, and she was fair,
With her emerald eyes and bronze gold hair;
For she might have been born an Eastern Queen,
And they called Sap's sister the Olive Green,
While the world sang Well-a-day !

Still the Gay Gamboge to the stars made moan,
And the Antwerp Blue in her sleep would groan;
For though he was yellow and she was blue,
Their children dear were a different hue,
So they both sang Well-a-day !

And mothers and fathers will often sigh,
That the world is crooked and all-awry;
For while they are as good as good can be,
Yet their kids are not-it's a mystery,
And the world sings Well-a-day.

After the song was over, the Indian Ink called on the
Flesh Tint, who was known to have seen a great deal of the
world, to tell them some of his adventures, and he related
many strange tales. One of his stories was of a brother
of his who painted a lot of robbers called "The Miller
and his Men," and they all came to life and acted a play
in a real cardboard theatre, with tin footlights, and red
fire at the end of the piece. That was a story, and all
the paints envied the Flesh Tint, and wished they could
see such things.
A bright idea occurred to the Brownie. "Would you

The First Book of Krab

like to see a real live wedding to-night ?" he said to the
paints, as the Flesh Tint ended his story. "A wedding
is better than "The Miller and his Men." I will make
the picture come to life if you promise to go to
bed afterwards, each in his proper place without any
"Promise cried all the paints at once. Promise !
A real wedding Hurrah !"
"Revenge," shouted the Indian Ink; I won't have it.
I'm the King and I won't have it."
Bother revenge," called but the Flesh Tint, who was
a big two-penny cake and not a bit afraid of the Indian
Ink. "Let us have the wedding and go to bed afterwards.
That is fair."
"The wedding!" shouted the paints, "three cheers
for the wedding !"
So the Indian Ink, seeing how things were going,
thought he had better make the best of it, and called out
in a loud tone to the Brownie : "We command that you
show our people the wedding !" Even kings cannot
have all their own way.
Stand upon the box then, and keep out of the way,"
said the Brownie.
All the paints and brushes, the water-glass, and the two
shells, got on the box and stood in a crowd waiting to see
what the Brownie would do. He was as good as his
word. He turned down the gas for a moment, and you
could hear him mumbling some magic words in front
of the picture. Then you heard the rustling of hundreds
of silk dresses, and the solemn tones of the Archbishop,
and, lo and behold, when the light went up again, there

Bobby's Paint-Box
was the picture just as they had painted it, and the Arch-
bishop was lifting up his green-robed arms to bless the
happy pair at the end of the service.
The Bride took the Bridegroom's arm, the Prussian
blue Pages lifted up the vermilion train; they marched
down between the sap green Beefeaters and the crowds
of Lords and Ladies on each side.
"There is no music," shouted the Flesh Tint. "There
should be music."
Music !" shouted all the paints in one voice.
The Brownie was at his wit's end for a moment, but
he spied Bobby's little musical-box, which he touched
lightly twice, and it started to turn itself round and to play
its only tune in its best style. Luckily the tune was Wait
till the Clouds roll by," which the Flesh Tint said was very
suitable for a wedding, and all the paints were satisfied
with that.
When the Bride and Bridegroom got to the end of the
yellow ochre floor, the Earl of Beaconsfield hurried up,
and shook hands with them, and congratulated them
heartily; the Bride blushed as scarlet as her dress and
looked more beautiful than ever.
"Poor dear !" sighed the sable brush. I do hope she
won't break down."
"Not a bit of it," said the camel's-hair brush. "Where
is the carriage, though ? They ought to go off in a
-carriage with white horses."
The Brownie had not forgotten this, and as they were
speaking, Bobby's tin carriage and pair came rattling up
at a grand pace, and drew up in front of the Bride and
Bridegroom. The two white horses pawed the nursery

The First Book of Krab

oil-cloth, and the little groom stood in front of them with
his arms folded. It was a pity Bobby had knocked his
head off, because it spoilt the effect of the thing
The Bridegroom now handed the Bride into the
carriage ; then he jumped in and caught hold of the pink
wool reins, which Mother had luckily put on only the
day before, the headless groom jumped up behind, and
away they dashed amidst the cheers of the crowd, led by
the Earl of Beaconsfield, who stood on tip-toe and waved
his cocked hat. All the paints and brushes joined in the
cheers, and the camel's-hair brush made more noise than
any of them. The carriage drove twice round the
nursery, and then out of the door, but where it went to
after that I cannot say.
And now came an awkward pause. There stood all
the crowd of Princes and Princesses, Lords and Ladies,
Bishops and Archbishops, and Emperors and Statesmen,
but there were no more carriages to go home in.
The Brownie went up to the Earl of Beaconsfield, and
whispered something in his ear, but the Earl shook his
head, and evidently would not have it. He then spoke
to the Archbishop, who looked very indignant indeed.
"Well," said the Brownie, "there is nothing else for
it," and he walked off to the corner of the Nursery, and
seizing the head of the grey horse that drew the furniture-
van, tugged horse and van into the middle of the room.
There are no more carriages," he said. You must go
in the van, or stay where you are."
In vain the Princes stormed and the Ladies wept, and
the Bishops preached, and the Earl of Beaconsfield

Bobby's Paint-Box
threatened the Brownie with proceedings for High
Treason before the Magistrates; there was the furniture-
van and nothing else, and they must either go in it or
stay where they were. How the paints roared with
laughter to see them so angry-all except the Indian

Ink, who thought royalty ought to be treated with more
The Emperor of Russia was the first to see that they
must make the best of it, and he led the way, jumping
into the van before the others, saying, as he did so:
"The first thing is to get home, and then we can have
some one hanged, drawn, and quartered afterwards."
When an Emperor does a wise thing it makes it easier
for others to do wise things, and in a few minutes they

" __b~i

The First Book of Krab

were all packed in, and the Beefeaters having closed the
doors, sat on top of the van, which trundled away after
the carriage and pair.
When I say that every one got in, I say what is not
correct. The Earl of Beaconsfield absolutely refused to
go in a furniture-van-nothing would persuade him to do
so-and he was left alone on the nursery floor, arguing
with the Brownie as to how he was to get to the House
of Lords, where he was due to make an important
"There's a hansom cab in the corner, but no driver,"
said the Brownie. Will you drive yourself ?"
"Never," said the Earl firmly.
"Will you paints go to bed quietly, after I'm gone,"
asked the Brownie, if I drive him home ?"
"Rather !" cried the paints, for they had had such a
capital treat that they felt they ought to be good.
So Bobby's hansom cab was got out, and the Brownie
jumped into the driver's seat.
The Earl was quite pleased with this and leaped lightly
into the cab, calling out as he got in, "House of Lords,
driver !"
The paints gave three cheers, the brushes waved adieu,
and, as the Earl bowed in return, he caught sight of the
Indian Ink, who was shaking his fist at him as the cab
passed the paint-box.
S"Ta-ta, little man," said the Earl; "keep your temper,
and when I am out of blacking I'll ask yon to come and
stay with me."
It was a cruel jest,' and the royal blood of the Indian
Ink boiled .with rage. He jumped:from the paint-box,

Bobby's Paint-Box
made one wild rush at the cab, and what would have
happened to the Earl I do not know; but the Indian Ink
slipped on the step, fell under the wheel, and was broken
in three pieces, while the cab galloped off without waiting
to see what damage was done.
It was a sad ending to a happy day. The other paints
gathered up the remains of their King and placed him in
the royal compartment, where he groaned himself to
sleep. Then each got into his own proper position, the
brushes laid themselves down at full length, the Flesh
Tint went into the drawer underneath, and all was at
peace again.
In the morning Nurse found the furniture-van in the
hall stuffed full of little pieces of painted paper, and the
carriage and pair with the paper Bride and Bridegroom
close to it; but the hansom cab, with the Earl of Beacons-
field neatly cut out and perched on the seat, had got as
far on his way to the House of Lords as the scullery, for
there he was found in the morning.
"These are some of Bobby's games, I suppose," said
Nurse as she collected the things, and she was rather
cross about it.
When Bobby came down to breakfast his Mother sent
him straight upstairs to put his paint-box tidy, and told
him that if .she found the.nursery so.untidy again he
should have only dry bread for breakfast.
When Bobby returned in two seconds and said it had
gone and -tidied itself, Mother said: "Nonsense! paint
boxes can't tidy themselves."
"But it's gone and done it," said Bobby, who generally
stuck to a statement when he had once made it; "and

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