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Title: The Haliburton Second Reader

Date of first publication: 1912

Author: Margaret Winifred Haliburton (1855-1928)

Date first posted: May 20, 2015

Date last updated: May 20, 2015

Faded Page eBook #20150548

This ebook was produced by: Marcia Brooks, Dianne Nolan & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net





















I G 3

In using copyrighted material, the author acknowledges her indebtedness to John Kendrick Bangs and The Century Co. for "The Elf Man"; to Houghton, Mifflin Co. for "A Real Santa Claus" and "The Snowbird" by Frank Dempster Sherman, as, also, "Why The Evergreens Keep Their Leaves" by Florence Holbrook; to Laura E. Richards for "A Valentine"; to The Century Co. for "The Glad New Year" by Mary Mapes Dodge; to Clifton Johnson for "How The Fox Traveled"; and to J. B. Tabb for "The Halloween Elf" and "The Dainty Little Fairy."


At School5
Playing Indians7
Kill-Quick and the BearsA Story of the Red Children9
How the Robin Got His Red BreastIndian Legend13
Good-by to SummerWilliam Allingham15
It's Autumn LateWilliam Allingham16
The Wee Good Folk17
The Little Elf ManJohn Kendrick Bangs19
The Magic HammerFrom the French20
Bruin and the TrollFrom the Norse25
The Children's Halloween34
The Halloween ElfJ. B. Tabb40
Autumn FiresRobert Louis Stevenson41
Getting Ready for Thanksgiving42
The Thanksgiving Party48
How the Fox TraveledAdapted from Clifton Johnson49
Before the Play56
Jack and the BeanstalkA Dramatization58
A Real Santa ClausFrank Dempster Sherman66
Christmas Holidays68
The Silver ConesFrom the German70
The Wonder FlowerFrom the German74
The Christmas BellsSpanish Legend80
Christmas CarolOld English Song84
The Glad New YearMary Mapes Dodge86
The Twelve MonthsSlav Fairy Tale87
The SnowSelected94
Playing Eskimos95
About the Eskimos96
The SnowbirdFrank Dempster Sherman101
Making Valentines102
Saint Valentine's Day104
A ValentineLaura E. Richards105
Bird ThoughtsSelected106
Grace's Birthday107
The People's BellAdapted from Longfellow108
The Children's Poet113
The WindmillHenry W. Longfellow114
The WindSelected115
The Doll Show116
The Lost DollCharles Kingsley118
The Brave Tin SoldierHans Christian Andersen119
Windy NightsRobert Louis Stevenson125
The Black Horseman126
The Rabbit and the Easter EggsGerman Story129
In the April RainMrs. Anderson132
Arbor Day133
Apple-Seed John134
Why the Evergreens Keep Their LeavesFlorence Holbrook136
The SeedKate L. Brown140
The School Garden142
The Flowers and the Fairies142
The Story of ClytieNature Myth145
Seed FriendsE. Nesbit149
The May Baskets150
The Little Girl Who Wanted the StarsA Scottish Story152
About the FairiesSelected157
Mabel's Midsummer DayAdapted from Mary Howitt158
Fairy UmbrellasCora A. Dillon165
The Dainty Little FairyJ. B. Tabb166
The Brownie's BellA Tale of RĂ¼gen167
LadybirdCaroline B. Southey171
Words for Phonic Drill175
To the Teacher176



Frank and Grace are now in the Second Grade.

Carry and May are in the Second Grade with them. So are Will and Dan.

The children in the Second Grade read about Indians.

The children like to read about the braves and the squaws.

The braves are Indian men. The squaws are Indian women.

The children would like to see a little pappoose. A pappoose is an Indian baby.

The children make bows and arrows at school. They think that they would like to live in wigwams.

They would like to dress in deer skins, and have feather headdresses as the Indians do.

So the boys and girls are going to the woods to play Indians. They will build a wigwam of poles and bark.

The boys will be the braves and give the Indian war cry. They will hunt deer in play with bows and arrows.

The girls will dress like squaws, and do all the work as the squaws do. They will cook for the braves and the pappooses.


Grace: Tell us how to play Indians, Frank. Who shall I be?

Frank: We will play that you are my squaw, Grace. Your name is Light-Foot. May is Dan's squaw. Her name is Blue-Bird. Carry is Will's squaw. Her name is Bright-Eyes.

Grace: Look! here comes Betty with Max and Alice. They can be Indian children.

Carry: Yes, and Betty has her big doll. We can tie it up like a little brown pappoose.

May: Then we can tell the children stories that the Indians told to their children.

Will: Come, Alice! Come, Max! We want you and Betty to play with us. We will dress like Indians. We will tie up Betty's doll to look like a pappoose. Look at our wigwam.

Dan: Go ahead, Frank. Now we are ready to play.

Frank: Hi-yah! Hi! Hi! Don't you hear my war cry, Light-Foot? I'm off on the warpath. Give me my feather headdress.

Grace: Yes, great brave. I'll run to the wigwam and get it.

Will: I'm off on a deer hunt. Where are my bow and arrows, Bright-Eyes?

Carry: Here they are, great brave.

Dan: I'm off to the waters for fish. Blue-Bird, get my fishing pole.

May: I'll find it at once, great brave.

Grace: Come to the fire, children. Let the pappoose warm his hands, while I cook the corn. Then Blue-Bird and Bright-Eyes will tell you some stories.



Once there was an Indian boy called Kill-Quick. They gave him this name because he could kill birds so quickly. Yet he was a very little boy.

One day, Kill-Quick went into the woods to hunt birds. A little thrush was singing in a tall tree. Kill-Quick ran with his bow and arrow, but the thrush flew away.

Kill-Quick ran far out of his path. When he turned to go home, he found that he was lost in the forest. Soon night came, and he lay down under the trees to sleep. He slept until sunrise the next morning.

All that day he went on and on, but he could not find the path back to the wigwams.

At last, when it was nearly night, he came to a cave. He went into the warm cave and was soon asleep.

When he waked next morning, he found three bear cubs trying to play with him. Kill-Quick began to play with the pretty and playful cubs. While they were playing, the mother bear came into the cave.



Kill-Quick was very much frightened at first. But the bear came and lay down beside him. Then he was no longer frightened.

When the bears and the cubs went into the forest, Kill-Quick went along with them.

They soon came to some vines full of berries. Kill-Quick and the bears liked the berries.

By and by, they came to a tree where the bees were making honey. The cubs tried hard to get the honey, but they could not get it. At last the mother bear got it for them, and then what a feast they all had!

After the feast, they lay down in the forest. The playful cubs rolled and tumbled over the mother bear, and Kill-Quick rolled and tumbled with them. When night came, they went back to the warm cave.

Day after day, the mother bear went into the forest to find honey, berries and other things to eat. Kill-Quick helped her find berries, as he no longer wished to kill birds.

He had grown to love the birds as little friends.

In time, Kill-Quick became quite happy with the bears. Then he gave up trying to find the way back to the wigwams.

When the cubs became big bears, they went away. But Kill-Quick stayed with the kind mother bear.

One day, some Indians were out on the warpath. They saw the mother bear, and killed her. Just then, Kill-Quick came running through the forest. When he saw the dead bear, he fell to the ground with a great cry.

The Indians asked him who he was, but he could not tell them. He had long ago forgotten how to talk.

The Indians took the boy with them and, in time, he became a great brave. But nothing could ever make him kill a bear.



At one time, there was only one fire in all the cold North. An old man and his little boy took care of it.

When the man became too old to care for the fire, the little boy had to care for it by himself.

Now the White Bear lived in the North, and he wished to drive all the people away. He wanted all the North for himself.

He thought the boy at the fire would grow sleepy, so he began to watch him.

One day, the little boy became very sleepy. He tried very hard to keep awake, but at last he fell fast asleep.

Then the White Bear was full of joy. He ran and jumped on the fire with his wet feet. He jumped till he thought he had put the fire out. Then he went back to his cave.

A little brown robin saw the bear put out the fire. The robin did not wish the people to freeze. So as soon as the bear went away, the robin flew down to the ground.

He found that the fire was not quite out. There was a tiny bit left. He began to fan it with his wings to make a breeze. Joy, joy! At last, there was a tiny blaze. Soon the tiny blaze became a big blaze. Then the robin began to carry fire to the people.

All this time, the fire was burning the robin's breast. It burned and burned, until his breast became quite red. But he did not give up till all the people of the North had fire.

And this is how the brave little robin got the red on his breast that looks so much like a gay breastknot.


Good-by to Summer

Good-by, good-by to summer!

  For summer's nearly done;

The garden smiling faintly,

  Cool breezes in the sun.


Our thrushes now are silent,

  Our swallows flown away,--

But Robin's here, in coat of brown,

  With ruddy breastknot gay.


Robin, Robin Redbreast,

  Oh, Robin, Robin, dear!

Robin sings so sweetly

  In the falling of the year.


--William Allingham


It's Autumn Late

Bright yellow, red and orange,

  The leaves come down in hosts;

The trees are Indian princes,

  But soon they'll turn to ghosts.


The ripened pears and apples

  Hang russet on the bough;

Its autumn, autumn, autumn late,

  'Twill soon be winter now.


Robin, Robin Redbreast,

  Oh, Robin, Robin, dear!

And what will our poor Robin do?

  For winter days are near.


--William Allingham



One day Miss Brooks, the children's teacher, said to them,

"I know you have all heard of fairies. But I have heard of many other wee folk beside fairies. There are the brownies, the elves and the trolls. They have many other names. Once they were all called the Wee Good Folk. People tell many pretty stories about the Wee Good Folk.

"The fairies were very pretty, more so than any of the other Wee Good Folk. They were said to love and care for the flowers. We think of the fairies when we think of the flowers. So we will wait till flower time to talk about the fairies.

"I will tell you something about the other Wee Good Folk, now. Then we will read some stories about them.

"I have heard that the trolls were never pretty, but that some of them were very funny. Some of the elves were pretty and kind, but not all of them. The brownies were very kind and liked to help people in just as many ways as they could.

"It was said that on one night in the year all the Wee Good Folk came out from their homes. It was the night we call Halloween. Some said the Wee Folk went about that night to do harm to people. Others said that this was their great night for having fun and for playing tricks upon people.

"Some people feared ghosts as well as the Wee Good Folk, on Halloween. But we know, now, that there are no ghosts. We know that our boys and girls are the Wee Good Folk who have fun on Halloween, and who play tricks on people."



I saw a little elf man once,

  Down where the lilies blow.

I asked him why he was so small,

  And why he didn't grow.


He slightly frowned, and with his eye

  He looked me through and through.

"I'm quite as big for me," said he,

  "As you are big for you."


--John Kendrick Bangs



It is said that the elves once helped a poor boy in a way that you will like to read about.

The boy's name was Paul, and poor Paul had a great hump on his back.

Paul lived with a blacksmith who would sometimes beat him in a very cruel way.

One day, Paul was going home through the woods. He had been working hard, and was very tired and sad. He tossed his hammer on the grass, and lay down to rest. The woods were silent, and in a little while he was asleep.

When Paul waked, it was night. The moon was shining, and he thought he heard music. As he looked around, he saw a little elf. The elf was standing by a big oak tree that had a great hollow in its trunk.

"Don't you know that this is Halloween; and that the Wee Good Folk are out to-night?" asked the elf.

"I had forgotten that it was Halloween," said Paul. "But the Wee Good Folk will not harm me."

"What is the matter with you? You don't look a bit happy," said the elf.

"Oh, it is this great hump," said Paul. "I wish I were rid of it."

"Stand up and let us see if you have a hump, now," said the elf.

Paul stood up and found, to his great joy, that his hump had gone.

"Well, well," said Paul, "I do wish I could do something for you, now."

"You can do something for me," said the elf. "Come with me."

The elf then went into the hollow tree trunk and Paul went with him.



Paul found himself in a great bright room full of little elves.

Elves so small,

Two feet tall,

With caps red

On their head,

Danced around

On the ground.

Three of the elves were playing on fiddles, and the others were dancing.

Soon the elves began to sing,

"One, two, three and four,

Trip and go, to and fro;

Five, six, seven--"

Here the music, the dancing and the singing came to an end. A great wail went up from the elves.

"We have forgotten how to count! We have forgotten how to count!" they said.

"What comes after seven?" asked the elf with Paul.

"Why, eight comes next," said Paul.

Then the music, the dancing and the singing began again.

"One, two, three and four,

Trip and go, to and fro;

Five, six, seven, eight,

Now the night grows very late;

Nine, ten--"

Again the music and dancing stopped. Another wail went up from the elves.

"We have forgotten how to count!" they said.

"Eleven comes next," called out Paul. At once, the music, dancing, and singing began again.

Paul helped the elves all night long. When he tired of counting, he just thought of his hump and gladly went on counting for them.



Just before sunrise, the elf said to Paul,

"You have been very kind to us. Here is a magic hammer for you. When you go out into the world, see what you can do with it. Now, come with me."

Paul took the hammer and went out into the moonlight, as he thought, but he saw that it was daylight.

There stood the hollow tree from which he had just come. But where was the elf?

Paul looked back into the great tree trunk to thank the elf, but he saw only the dark hollow.

Before night, Paul had traveled to the King's town. There he went to work with a good old blacksmith. He made the most beautiful and wonderful things with his magic hammer.

In time, Paul became the King's master blacksmith, and grew very rich.

He was always as kind about helping other people as he had been in helping the elves. For this, he was greatly loved by all, and he lived a long and happy life.


A soldier was once in a very cold country far from his home.

One day, he went to walk through the fields of ice and snow. There he found the little cub of a white bear. The soldier caught the cub and kept it as a pet.

When he went back to his country, he took the little bear with him.

The cub grew to be a great bear. He was as white as snow and as strong as a lion. He was as gentle as a lamb, and loved the soldier much as a dog loves his master. With the soldier's children he was as playful as a kitten.

He would walk on his hind legs, and carry a stick as if it were a gun. He would march with the children and keep time to the drum beats or to music. He would jump and dance when his master whistled or sang for him.

People came from far and near to see the bear march and dance. This made the soldier think he might make some money by showing him. So he and the bear traveled far away.

Day after day, the great bear walked by his master's side. Night after night, he lay down beside him. So, you see, the soldier could always sleep without fear.

One night, the soldier found himself in a thick forest. A great storm was coming up.

Soon, nothing could be heard but the roaring of the wind, the rolling of the thunder and the falling of the trees. It had grown very dark. The soldier could not see which way to go.



It grew darker and darker in the woods. The trees were falling everywhere and the soldier did not know what to do.

"Well, Bruin," he said to the bear, "I never saw such a night as this. It is Halloween, too, and all the bad trolls and elves must be about."

Just then, there was a bright flash of lightning. The soldier saw a woodman near him with a bundle of fagots on his back.

"I am very glad to see you, friend," said the soldier. "Will you take Bruin and me into your house out of the storm? I will pay you money and give you thanks."

The woodman looked at the great white bear and shook his head.

"That bear would frighten my wife and children," said he. "Leave him in the woods, and you may stay in my house until morning. You need not give me any money."

"I can't leave my good Bruin out in this storm," said the soldier. "He will not harm your wife and children. He is quite gentle. Please take us into your house out of the storm."

"Do you see that little house at the foot of the hill?" asked the woodman. "You and your bear may stay there, if you wish. That was my house until last winter. Then some one came there and made me leave. I don't know what he looks like. All I ever saw of him was a little old shoe. He lost it and my wife found it."


The soldier thought all this very strange. So he said, "What did he do to drive you away from the little house?"

"Oh, he played all kinds of tricks," said the woodman. "He turned the pig into the garden, and the horse into the hayfields. He took rides on the cow and on the sheep.

"Then such noises as he kept up, all night! Dishes and kettles, pot and pans, dancing about and knocking each other to pieces. Some one running up and down stairs. Doors and windows going rattle-bang, rattle-bang, all night long. I had to leave the house. But he is still there, so far as I know."

"Well, Bruin and I will stay there, to-night," said the soldier. "I should be glad to have some fagots from your bundle to make a fire."

So the woodman gave him some fagots from his bundle, and went his way.

The soldier found no one in the little house. He made a good fire, wishing all the time that he had something to cook on it.

Then he lay down in the back of the room while Bruin curled up by the fire. Soon they were fast asleep.

Late in the night, the soldier was waked by a noise in the room. He sat up, and saw an ugly, queer looking troll coming into the room.

The troll was about two feet tall and had a great hump on his back. He had a long nose, a big mouth and only one eye. On his head, was a high peaked cap. On his feet, were little, red shoes. He was pulling a bag after him. In the bag, was a sheep ready for roasting.


Now the troll did not see the soldier, but he saw the bear at once.

Dropping the bag, he stole to the fireplace to look at the bear. The soldier saw that he did not know what the bear was. He heard him say to himself:

"My! what a big cat! It must be the woodman's cat. I wonder what has brought her here. Well, I'll soon drive her home."

With that, he took up one of the burning sticks, and brought it down with a thump upon the sleeping bear's head.

Bruin slowly lifted his head. He opened first one eye, and then the other. When he saw the troll, he stood up on his hind feet. He caught the stick from the troll and sent it spinning to the back of the room.

Then the battle between Bruin and the troll began. Such biting, scratching, rolling and knocking were never seen. Such roaring, howling and growling were never heard before.

After a while, the troll began to grow very tired. Pulling his cap from his head, he struck Bruin in the eye with it. Then, howling with rage, he went rushing from the house.

"Good for you, Bruin!" cried the soldier. "That queer looking troll nearly made an end of you. He gave you some ugly bites, but you made him run at last. Now let us open the bag he brought. Let us cook and eat the sheep that is in it."

And so they did. By morning, the storm was over, and the soldier set out again with his bear.

In the forest, they met the woodman. The soldier told him about Bruin's battle.

When the woodman heard that the troll took Bruin for his cat, he laughed till he shook.

"Ha! Ha! So he thought Bruin was my cat!" said the woodman. "Well, I hope he will always think I have a big cat like Bruin."

Then the soldier said good-by, and he and Bruin went their way.

A few days after this, the woodman came upon the ugly little troll sitting up in a tree.

"Hi, there, you woodman!" shouted the troll. "Is that great white cat of yours still living, or did I kill her the other night?"

"Ha! ha!" laughed the woodman. "Yes, my cat is still living, and she now has six kittens that are just like her. The kittens are as gentle as their mother. Come and play with my cat and her kittens, won't you?"

"Six kittens!" shouted the troll. "Then I'm off!"

Away he went, and was never seen again.



Saturday night was Halloween. The Second Grade children wished to surprise Miss Brooks.

It took them all day Saturday to get ready. First, they had to make their Jack-o-lanterns.

Each got a pumpkin and cut off one end of it. That was for the cap. They took out the inside of the pumpkin. Then they cut the holes for the eyes and for the nose, and another one for the mouth. Next, they put a candle inside of each pumpkin. Then they put the cap on it. After that, the Jack-o-lanterns were fastened to poles.

When night came, the children met at May's house. They all put veils over their faces. Then away they marched with their lighted Jack-o-lanterns.

When they came to Miss Brooks' house, they sang some old songs about Halloween, to begin the surprise.

After the singing, Miss Brooks came out and said,

"Thank you, whoever you may be. Now, how should you like a bonfire as part of the Halloween frolic?"

"Oh! Oh! Oh!" came from under the veils, "that would be fine!"

Miss Brooks laughed as she heard one of them saying, "I wonder if she knows us under our veils."

She went with them to the back garden. There everything was ready for the bonfire, and two big tubs of water stood ready for the games.



The bonfire was soon lighted. With the Jack-o-lanterns, it made the garden quite bright, and showed the children the baskets that were waiting for them. The baskets were full of apples, nuts, popcorn and other good things.

"I see you are wondering how I knew that you were coming," said Miss Brooks, smiling. "I wonder if a little elf told me. But never mind how I knew it. Now, I am going to show you how children play Halloween games without ghosts."

The half of an English walnut shell was then given to each of the children. In each shell, was fastened a piece of a Christmas candle.

When the candles were lighted, the nut shell boats were put to float on the tubs of water. The children then watched these nut shell boats to see how many would float until the candles burned out.

Then Miss Brooks let each of the children melt some lead in an iron spoon. This iron spoon was held in one hand. A key was held over the tub with the other hand.

The melted lead ran through the open end of the key, and fell into the water. This lead made all kinds of shapes in the water. Frank said his was a knife. Dan's, was a gun. May's, was a flower. Will's, was an arrow. These pieces of lead were to be kept safely until the next Halloween, when the children would again play this game.


At the end of this game, Miss Brooks held up an apple fastened to a strong string. The children were to bite the apple, keeping their hands behind them. This was hard to do, but it was great fun. The apple whirled and turned, as they tried to bite it, in a way that made the children all laugh.

After this game, they roasted apples, cracked nuts, popped corn, asked riddles and told Halloween stories.

Here are some of the riddles:

As soft as silk, as white as milk,

As bitter as gall, a thick wall,

And a green coat that covers me all.


(A Walnut)



Little Nancy Etticoat,

In a white petticoat,

The longer she stands,

The shorter she grows.


(A Candle)


There's a funny little elf man,

In a funny peak-ed cap,

And he cuts such funny capers!

Such a merry little chap!

And he goes out on a frolic,

And he shakes his little wings,

When he thinks how very funny

Is the little song he sings!


"Halloween Night!

Halloween Night!

In the cold bright rays

Of the old moon's light,

Elf men and brownies!

No time to be lost!

We will frolic around

Till we freeze up the ground,

And the children will think

It's Jack Frost."


--J. B. Tabb


In other gardens

  And all up the vale,

From the autumn bonfires,

  See the smoke trail!


Pleasant summer over

  And all the summer flowers;

The red fire blazes,

  The gray smoke towers.


Sing a song of seasons!

  Something bright in all!

Flowers in the summer,

  Fires in the fall.


--Robert Louis Stevenson



The children in the Second Grade were getting ready for Thanksgiving. Miss Brooks had said some time before,

"We will have a party in the schoolroom on the day before Thanksgiving. We shall have a happy time. We will do all that we can to make others happy, too, at this Thanksgiving season.

"But first, children, I wish you to learn all you can about Thanksgiving Day. Then, I wish each of you to write something for me of what you learn."


The first Thanksgiving was kept long ago.

At that time, there were only wild woods here.

There were no towns, schools or churches.

Only wild Indians lived here, then.

They did not live in houses like ours.

They lived in wigwams of skin and bark.

Then some white people came here to live.

The white people came here in ships.

They came from a country beyond the sea.

I have made here a picture of Indian wigwams.


The white people who came here were English.

They were called Pilgrims.

This was because they moved about so much.

The English King was not kind to them.

So they went first to live with the kind Dutch.

The Dutch country is called the land of windmills.

The Pilgrims moved from the land of windmills.

They came to this land to live.

This picture shows some Dutch windmills.



The Pilgrims had no houses at first.

They stayed in their ships a long time.

They had no gardens or farms.

So the Pilgrims had very little to eat.

Then some of them fell sick and died.

Many of the Pilgrims were killed by Indians.

But some of the Indians were kind to them.

This is a picture of the Pilgrims' ships.

They came over in these ships.

One ship was called the Mayflower.

Do you know the name of the other ship?


The Pilgrims went out to look over the land.

They looked for a good place for their log houses.

On the way they found a basket of corn.

The Indians had hidden it in the sand.

The white people had never seen corn before.

They took the corn, but they paid for it.

They paid the Indians who had hidden it.

Then an Indian showed them how to plant corn.

Here is a picture of the Pilgrims' log houses.


The Pilgrims had a fine harvest season.

They said, "Let us have a Thanksgiving feast.

We will give thanks to God for the harvest."

So the men went to hunt deer and rabbits.

They found wild ducks, and turkeys, too.

The women made bread, cakes and pies.

They made them of maize, or Indian corn.

This is a picture of maize, or Indian corn.


The Pilgrims said, "Some Indians are kind.

Some have been kind neighbors to us.

They shall come to our harvest feast."

So the Indians came dressed very fine.

They had on deer skins, fox tails, and feathers.

The Indians stayed three days and three nights.

They sang, danced and played games.

This was nearly three hundred years ago.

Now we keep Thanksgiving every year.

Here is a picture I have made of the Indians.



The children made the schoolroom very gay and beautiful for their Thanksgiving party.

There were sheaves of yellow wheat, and ears of shining corn. There were big yellow pumpkins, red apples, russet pears, and brown nuts. There were baskets of cakes and other good things. The boys were to take the baskets to some poor people.

Then Miss Brooks told them some stories. She told them that her grandfather always said at Thanksgiving, "Now be sure to have baked beans and pumpkin pies on the table."

"And how glad we children were to see those dishes!" said Miss Brooks. "Baked beans and pumpkin pies always made Grandfather tell us the two stories that I am going to tell you."

The first story that Miss Brooks told was "How the Fox Traveled." The other story was "Jack and the Beanstalk."


Once a fox found a bumblebee. He put the bumblebee into his bag and traveled on.

Soon he came to a house. He went in and said to the woman of the house,

"May I leave my bag here, while I go to Squintum's to get a pumpkin pie?"

"Yes, you may," said the woman.

"Then be careful not to open the bag," said the fox.

But just as soon as the fox was out of sight, the woman took a peep into the bag. Out flew the bumblebee. A rooster caught it and ate it up.

After a while, the fox came back. He took up his bag and saw that the bumblebee was gone.

"Where is my bumblebee?" he said.

"Oh, I just untied the bag," said the woman, "and the bumblebee flew out. The rooster caught it and ate it up."

"Very well, then, I must have the rooster," said the fox.

So he caught the rooster. He put him in his bag and traveled on.

The fox soon came to another house and went in. He said to the woman of the house,

"May I leave my bag here, while I go to Squintum's to get a pumpkin pie?"

"Yes, you may," said the woman.

"Then be careful not to open the bag," said the fox.



But just as soon as the fox was out of sight, the woman took a peep into the bag.

Out flew the rooster. A pig caught him and ate him up.

After a while, the fox came back. When he took up his bag, he saw that the rooster was gone. "Where is my rooster?" he said to the woman.

"Oh, I just untied the bag," said the woman, "and the rooster flew out. The pig caught him and ate him up."

"Very well, then, I must have the pig," said the fox.

So he caught the pig. He put him in his bag and traveled on.

After a little while, the fox came to another house and went in. He said to the woman of the house,

"May I leave my bag here, while I go to Squintum's to get a pumpkin pie?"

"Yes, you may," said the woman.

"Then be careful not to open the bag," said the fox.

But just as soon as the fox was out of sight, the woman took a peep into the bag.

Out jumped the pig. The ox caught him and ate him up.

The fox soon came back. When he took up his bag, he saw that the pig was gone.

"Where is my pig?" he said to the woman.

"Oh, I just untied the bag," said the woman, "and the pig jumped out. The ox caught him and ate him up."

"Very well, then, I must have the ox," said the fox.

So he caught the ox. He put him in his bag and traveled on.


The fox soon came to another house. He went in, and he said to the woman of the house,

"May I leave my bag here, while I go to Squintum's to get a pumpkin pie?"

"Yes, you may," said the woman.

"Then be careful not to open the bag," said the fox.

But just as soon as the fox was out of sight, the woman took a peep into the bag.

Out jumped the ox. The woman's little boy ran after the ox, but he could not catch him.

After a while, the fox came back. When he took up his bag, he saw that the ox was gone. "Where is my ox?" he said to the woman.

"Oh, I just untied the bag," said the woman, "and the ox jumped out. My little boy ran after the ox and tried to catch him, but he couldn't."

"Very well, then, I must have the boy," said the fox.

So he caught the little boy. He put him in his bag and he traveled on.

The fox soon came to another house and went in. He said to the woman of the house,

"May I leave my bag here, while I go to Squintum's to get a pumpkin pie?"

"Yes, you may," said the woman.

"Then be careful not to open the bag," said the fox.

Now the woman was making pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving, and the little boy in the bag could smell them. He was very hungry, so he said,

"Please give me a piece of pumpkin pie."

The woman untied the bag and took the poor little hungry boy out. She gave him all the pie he could eat. Then she caught the house dog and put him in the bag.

After a while, the fox came back. He took up his bag, and as he thought the boy was in it, he traveled on.

When he came to the woods, he sat down saying, "Now I shall eat what I have in my bag."

He untied the bag. Out jumped the angry dog, and ate up the fox then and there.



Carry: We now know the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. So we will act it. Miss Brooks says that I may say who is to act in the story. Will is to be Jack. Grace is to be Jack's mother. Dan is the butcher. Frank is the giant, and May is to be the old woman. The other children and I are to sit with Miss Brooks and see you act.

Dan: I am to tell what things we need in the play. We need a cow and a rope. We need some beans and a beanstalk. We need a bed and an ax for Jack. We need a table, a chair and a big oven for the giant's house. Then we need a harp and some golden eggs for the giant.

Will: I will turn down a chair and tie May's rope to it. Then I can push the chair along as if I were driving the cow.

Grace: Here are some beans for the giant.

May: We can put three chairs together, to make Jack's bed.

Frank: The stepladder can be the beanstalk.

Dan: This hammer can be the ax.

Carry: This box can be the oven. Will can hide in the box. Miss Brooks' chair and table will be here for the giant.

Grace: This big picture frame can be the giant's harp, and these yellow apples can be the golden eggs. Now, we are ready.

To the Teacher: If any of the children do not know the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, the teacher should tell it to them.



Mother: We have nothing in the house to eat, Jack. We must sell the cow.

Jack: Very well, Mother, I will drive her to town.

(He throws the rope over the cow's head and drives her along until he meets the butcher.)

Butcher: Where are you taking that cow?

Jack: I'm taking her to town to sell her.

Butcher: Sell her to me. I'll give you these wonderful beans for her.

(He shows his hand full of beans.)

Jack: My, but they are beautiful! Here, take the cow, and give me the beans.

(He hands the rope to the butcher and holds out his hat for the beans. Then he runs, calling to his mother.)

Jack: Oh, Mother! Just look at these wonderful beans! I sold our cow for them. Take them in your apron, Mother. See, they have all the colors of the rainbow!

Mother: What! You sold our cow for a few beans, when we have nothing to eat? You silly, silly boy! There! that's what I'll do with your wonderful beans! Oh, dear! Oh, dear! What shall I do?

(She catches up the beans and throws them as far as she can send them. Then she throws her apron over her head and cries out loud.)

Jack: Oh, why did you throw my wonderful beans away, Mother?

Mother: Don't talk to me! Go to your bed, and stay there, you silly, silly boy!

(She leaves the room, still crying, with her apron over her head. Jack goes to his bed, lies down and goes to sleep.)


(Jack sits up in bed, rubs his eyes, looks around the room and then at the window.)

Jack: How dark the room is, yet it must be morning! Why, look at the leaves! How do they come to be growing over my window? I will run out and see.

(He jumps up and seeing the beanstalk runs up to it. Throws his head back and looks up.)

Oh, what a wonderful beanstalk! It is like the trunk of a tree! Why, it's so tall I can't see the top of it! Mother! Mother! Come and see this wonderful beanstalk that is higher than the house.

(Mother runs to the beanstalk and looks up.)

Mother: Why, how strange! How ever did this large plant get here, Jack? I never saw a vine here before.

Jack: It must have come up in the night, Mother, from those beans you threw away. May I climb the beanstalk, Mother? I should like to see how high it goes.

Mother: Wait, Jack. I am very hungry. Go get something for breakfast, and then you may climb this wonderful beanstalk.

(They leave the room together.)


(Jack comes walking along with his hands on his hips, as if very tired. He stops and looks around.)

Jack: My, how tired I am after climbing that beanstalk! I climbed, and I climbed, and I climbed. And here I am, at last, at the top. What a strange place it is, to be sure! I will walk along this road and see where it goes.

(He walks on until he meets an old woman at the giant's house.)

Old Woman: What do you want here, boy?

Jack: Something to eat, if you please. I have come a long way, and I am very hungry. Won't you give me some bread?

Old Woman: You'd better go away. A cruel giant lives here. He will eat you up, if he sees you. And he will beat me, if I give you anything. Everything you see here was once mine. But the giant took it all from me, long ago.

(She hears the giant's heavy walking behind her, turns her head, and trembles with fear.)

Here comes the giant now! Oh, what shall I do? Hide in this oven, boy. There is no fire under it. Jump in!

(Jack hides in the oven and peeps out at the giant, who comes walking in with heavy steps. The giant stops near the oven, sniffs the air, and looks around the room.)

Giant: Fee, fi, fo, fum! I smell the blood of an Englishman!

Old Woman: You may smell the blood of that sheep behind the door that you killed for your breakfast.

Giant: Well, it may be the sheep's blood. Go and get my golden harp. I will sit here and count the golden eggs that my hen laid for me. Then, go and cook my breakfast. Cook the whole sheep for I am hungry.

(Giant sits down by the table. He takes the golden eggs from his pockets and counts them as he lays them on the table. While he is doing this, he falls asleep and begins to snore. The old woman comes in with the harp. She tiptoes to the oven and speaks to Jack.)

Old Woman: Hush. sh. sh! Take this harp, boy. Now get those golden eggs. My hen laid them. Take them and run for your life, but be careful not to wake the giant. If he catches you, he will kill you.

Jack: Thank you! Thank you!

(He takes the harp, and climbs out of the oven. He tiptoes to the table and puts the eggs into his pockets. Then he runs off. Just then, the giant wakes with a last big snore, and looks on the table for his golden eggs.)

Giant: Where are my golden eggs? Who is that running off with my harp? Let me catch him, and I'll eat him up.

(Giant runs after Jack and they both run out of sight.)


(Jack is standing with his mother looking down at the beanstalk, which lies on the ground. Jack has an ax in his hands. His mother has the harp in one hand. With the other hand, she holds her apron in which are the golden eggs.)

Jack: There! I have cut down this wonderful beanstalk. I just had to do it. If I had not, that giant could have come down here and eaten me. It is well for me, Mother, that you heard me call, and that you had the ax ready. How fast I had to slide down that beanstalk!

Mother: Yes, I am very glad I heard you, Jack. But where did you get these golden eggs, and this beautiful golden harp that makes such sweet music all by itself?

Jack: I took them from the giant. The old woman told me to do so. I just wish you could have heard the old giant snore!

Mother: Oh, Jack, now we can buy the little red cow again. And we can have a fine new house to live in. These golden eggs will make us rich all our lives.

Jack: Yes, Mother, and the harp will play every day, and we shall be happy, always.

To the Teacher: The material in italics is to be read silently or in concert, by the class. All new words in it are listed.


Santa Claus, I hang for you,

By our chimney, stockings two:

One for me and one to go

To another boy, I know.

There's a chimney in the town,

You have never traveled down.

Should you chance to enter there,

You would find a room all bare.

Not a stocking could you spy,

Matters not how you might try;

And the shoes, you'd find, are such

As no boy would care for much.

In a broken bed, you'd see

Some one just about like me,

Dreaming of the pretty toys,

Which you bring to other boys;

And to him, a Christmas seems

Merry only in his dreams.

All he dreams, then, Santa Claus,

Stuff his stocking with, because

When it's filled up to the brim,

I'll be Santa Claus to him.


--Frank Dempster Sherman



Long before Christmas, the children of the Second Grade began to make Christmas presents. They did some of the work in school.

They made presents for each other. They made presents for their teacher and for their fathers and mothers.

They were to have a Christmas tree in their schoolroom before the school closed for the holidays. All the pretty things they made were to be put on the tree. Then their fathers and mothers would be asked to come and see it.

All the children in that grade were to bring presents for sick children. There would be presents, too, for those children whose fathers and mothers were too poor to buy Christmas presents.

The boys would carry these presents around as they did the baskets at Thanksgiving. But the girls would carry the dolls that they had dressed.

The day for the Christmas tree came. The room was dark, and the tree looked very beautiful. It was full of lighted candles, strings of snowy popcorn, and all the things that the children had made.

Merry songs were sung about Christmas. Then the children took turns with their teacher in telling Christmas stories.

You shall read two of the Christmas stories that they told.



In a country across the sea, there are high mountains, covered with fir trees full of cones.

If you were in that country at Christmas, you would see silvered cones hanging on all the Christmas trees. And if you should ask why these silvered cones were hung on the Christmas trees, some one would tell you this story.

Long ago, a miner who lived in these mountains, fell sick and died. He left his little girl and her mother very, very poor.

It was not long before the mother died, too, leaving Hilda, the little girl, without a home.

The other miners were kind and gentle to Hilda. They did all that they could to help her. But they, too, were poor and they had many little children to care for.

One cold winter day, Hilda was climbing a high mountain with a basket on her arm. The next day would be Christmas Eve.

The miner with whom Hilda lived was very poor. He had six little children and they were hoping to see the good Saint Nicholas on Christmas Eve. They were sure he would bring them something pretty to play with, and something good to eat. So they went to bed to dream of Saint Nicholas, though their mother had said that Saint Nicholas might not come.

And now kind little Hilda was going to gather cones from the fir trees.

"The cones make such beautiful bright fires," thought she. "There may be a chance to sell them to some rich people for money. Then I can help the kind miner buy something for his dear children."


As Hilda came near the fir trees, she saw a tiny old man coming out of the shadow of the trees. He had white hair and a jolly red face.

"Have you come to gather cones?" he called to Hilda. "You will find the largest cones on that tree." As he said this, he pointed to a big fir tree. Then he went back into the shadows of the forest.

Hilda called out her thanks, and ran to the tree which the little man had pointed out. As she came under the branches, there was a great downfall of big cones. Hilda was frightened at first, but she soon filled her basket with the brown cones and hurried down the mountain.

The basket was very heavy, and grew more and more so, as Hilda went on.

When she reached the house, she poured the cones out on the table. Wonder of wonders! Every cone was of pure shining silver. Can you think how happy Hilda was?

"Oh!" she cried, "I have seen the good Saint Nicholas. It was he who pointed out the tree with the largest cones. It must have been he who changed all the brown cones in my basket into silver cones."

And so said all the miners, when Hilda gave to each of them one of her beautiful silver cones.

So the six little children had a merry Christmas, after all. They had many pretty things to play with, and all kinds of good things to eat. And as for the miner and his wife--Hilda gave them so many silver cones that they were no longer poor.

The people in that country have never forgotten kind Hilda, or the wonderful Christmas gift of Saint Nicholas. And to show that they have not, they always dress their Christmas trees with silvered cones.



There was once a little shepherd boy, named Carl, who herded the sheep of a rich man.

Carl and his mother lived in a tiny house with a tiny garden around it. The house and garden, with a white goat, were all they had in the world.

A deep river ran near Carl's home. Not far away, were the great forests and the high mountains.

Carl loved the shining river, the green forest and the high mountains. He loved the singing birds and the gay butterflies. But he loved still more the beautiful flowers that grew by the side of the river, in the green forest and on the mountains.

Every morning Carl guided his sheep down to the river, and herded them there all day. When night came, he guided them back to the fold. Then he hurried to his home under the fir trees at the foot of the mountain.

But you must not think that Carl played even then. There was the wood to cut, the garden to work and the white goat to milk. Carl's mother was not very strong, and she had to spin all day long and, sometimes, until late in the night.

Carl loved her too well to let her do the work that he could do. And though they were very poor, Carl and his mother were quite happy in their little home at the foot of the great mountain.



But a sad time came for Carl. His mother fell sick.

When Christmas came, his mother was too sick to lift her head. An old woman came to help Carl care for her.

When the old woman saw how very sick Carl's mother was, she shook her head sadly. Then she said to the little boy,

"There is only one thing that will cure her. That is a little brown plant that grows on top of the mountain. But the snow is very deep on the mountain,--no one can find the plant at this season."

But Carl said, "I will go and look. I am not afraid, and I may find the wonderful little brown plant."

So he took a thick stick and began to climb the mountain.

It was very, very cold. The wind cut Carl's hands and face, but he went on up the mountain. As he came near the top, he knocked the snow away and looked at every little plant he passed.

All at once, he saw a large flower. It was as white as snow. The heart of the flower was like pure gold. It made the air as sweet as if all the summer flowers in the world were in bloom at once.

Carl gave a cry of delight when he saw the flower--so beautiful, so sweet, so wonderful. He put out his hand to pick it. Then he said to himself,

"If I pick this flower, I shall have to carry it carefully all the way. I have no time for flowers now. I must first find the little plant that will cure my mother."

So he left the wonderful flower and went on up the mountain, looking always for the little brown plant which was to make his dear mother well and strong again.



At last, Carl found the little brown plant and hurried back with his treasure.

When he came to the place in which he had seen the wonderful flower, he looked everywhere, but there was no flower to be seen. In its place stood a little brown elf.

"I know what you are looking for," said the elf to Carl.

Then a most wonderful thing happened. The side of the mountain opened like a door, and Carl found himself, with the elf, in a large cave. The cave was shining with gold and silver and diamonds.

"You will not find the Wonder Flower," said the elf. "It blooms only at Christmas time, once every hundred years. It lasts only a short time. And only those who have pure hearts can see that Wonder Flower. You saw it. But you left it to go and do the work of love. Always love your mother as you do now and keep your heart pure. If you do this, you will always be happy, even though you can never again see the Wonder Flower."

Then the elf pointed to the gold and diamonds.

"See that treasure," said he. "Take as much of it as you can carry home."

Carl filled his pockets with the gold and diamonds. He turned to thank the elf, but elf and shining cave were both gone.

Carl was the happiest boy in the world. He had gold and diamonds to buy all that his mother needed. And he had the greatest treasure of all,--the wonderful little brown plant.



Once upon a time, three bells hung in the high tower of a beautiful church. They were wonderful bells, and when they rang they made wonderful music.

There was the great bell that went, "Clong-clong! Clong-clong! Clong-clong!" And there was the middle-sized bell that went, "Clang-clang! Clang-clang! Clang-clang!" And there was the little bell that went, "Cling-cling! Cling-cling! Cling-cling!"

These bells rang only on Christmas Eve. No one knew who rang them. Some said it was the wind. Others said that angels rang them.

The people loved to hear the bells ring. They sat very still in the beautiful church and listened for the music of the bells.

One Christmas Eve, the people sat waiting and waiting in the church. But the bells did not ring. At last the people went sadly away.

Christmas came again, and again the people listened for the bells. But the bells did not ring; and, once more, the people went sadly away.

Many, many years went by, and still the bells did not ring. Then the people began to ask,

"Did the bells ever ring?"

"Yes," said some of the old, old people. "Once, the wonderful bells rang every Christmas Eve."

"I wish we might hear the bells," said two little boys, who were playing in the snow.

"Oh, Paco, let us go to the church," said the smaller of the two. "This is Christmas Eve. Maybe the angels will ring the bells to-night."

"Yes, little brother, we will go," said the older of the two boys.


It was snowing fast as the two little boys went to the church. But they did not mind the snow.

Now Paco and his little brother were very poor. They had worked hard all the year and had saved every penny they could. They had changed their pennies for a bright silver dollar. This bright dollar they now wished to lay on the church altar for the poor.

As the boys were running along, they heard a low cry in the deep snow.

"What is that?" said Paco. "Let us see."

They stopped and, there in the snow, they found a little dog almost dead with hunger and cold.

Paco put the poor little dog under his coat to keep it warm.

"You go on to the church, little brother," said Paco. "Lay our silver dollar on the altar, while I take the poor dog home. I will feed it, and warm it, and then I will come to the church. Wait there for me."

The little brother took the silver dollar and went to the church.

He saw the people in the church waiting for the bells to ring. He saw the King and Queen enter the church.

Then the priest stood up in his snow-white robes and said, "Bring your gifts to the altar."

The King took his golden crown to the altar. The people listened, but the bells did not ring.

The Queen took her jeweled rings and laid them beside the King's crown. The people listened again, but the bells did not ring.

Rich men laid money on the altar, and still the bells did not ring.

Then Paco's little brother went slowly to the altar. Paco had told him to lay the silver dollar on the altar for the poor. He must do what his big brother had told him to do.

He laid the silver dollar on the altar. Then,

"Clong-clong! Clang-clang! Cling-cling!" the wonderful bells began to ring.

"The bells! The wonderful bells at last!" cried the people.

"The bells! The angels are ringing the sweet, sweet bells!" said the little brother, as Paco entered the church.

And as the people went home, they wondered why the bells had rung that Christmas Eve. Can you guess why?


And all the bells on earth shall ring

  On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day;

And all the bells on earth shall ring

  On Christmas Day in the morning.


And all the angels in heaven shall sing

  On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day;

And all the angels in heaven shall sing

  On Christmas Day in the morning.


And all the souls on earth shall sing

  On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day;

And all the souls on earth shall sing

  On Christmas Day in the morning.


So all the bells on earth shall ring

  On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day;

And all the bells on earth shall ring

  On Christmas Day in the morning.


--Old Song

E. H. Blashfield



It's coming, boys,

  It's almost here,

It's coming, girls,

  The grand New Year.


A year to be glad in,

  Not to be sad in;

A year to live in,

  To gain and give in.


A year for trying,

  And not for sighing;

A year for striving

  And hearty thriving.


It's coming, boys,

  It's almost here,

It's coming, girls,

  The grand New Year.


--Mary Mapes Dodge


Dobinka and Katinka were two little girls. They lived together with Katinka's mother near a great forest.

Katinka and her mother were not at all kind to little Dobinka. They took delight in telling her to do things that she could not do. One cold winter day, Katinka said,

"I want some violets, Dobinka. Go to the woods and get them for me."

"Violets do not grow in winter, Katinka," said Dobinka. "The snow is deep on the ground and it is still falling. I am afraid to go."

"But I want some violets," said Katinka, "you must go and get them for me."

So little Dobinka went out through the deep snow into the woods.

After a while, she saw a light far away on a high hill and she ran toward it. When she reached the hill, she saw twelve men sitting around a fire.

They were dressed in long mantles with hoods that almost hid their faces.

Three of the mantles were white, like the snowdrifts. Three were green, like the grass in spring. Three were yellow, like sheaves of ripened wheat. Three were red, yellow and green, like the leaves of autumn trees.

One of the men in white mantles had a staff in his hand. He was awake, but the others all seemed to be asleep.

At first, Dobinka was afraid of the men. But at last, she went to the man with the staff in his hand, saying,

"Please, may I warm myself by your fire?"

"Yes," said the man. "But what brings you here, my child?"

"Oh," said Dobinka, "I came to find violets for Katinka. She wants them very much."

"This is not the time for violets," said the man. "But March can help you."

He put the staff into the hands of one of the three men in green mantles. The man in the green mantle opened his eyes and asked,

"Why do you wake me, January?"

"Take this staff, brother March," said January. "Make violets bloom for this child."

March took the staff and waved it over the fire. The blaze grew brighter. The snow began to melt. Buds grew on the trees. The song of a bird was heard. Violets peeped from under the green grass.

After thanking January and March, Dobinka picked the violets and ran with them to Katinka.



"Go to the woods, Dobinka," said Katinka the next day, "and gather some strawberries for me."

"Oh, Katinka, strawberries do not grow in the winter," said Dobinka.

"You found violets in January," said Katinka. "You can find strawberries, too, if you try. Go at once and get some."

So little Dobinka set off for the hills with her basket.

Again, she found the twelve men sitting around the fire. January still held the staff.

"What brings you here again, child?" asked January, when he saw her.

"I came to find strawberries for Katinka," said Dobinka. "She wants them very much."

"This is not the month for strawberries," said January. "But June can help you."

He put the staff into the hands of one of the three men in yellow mantles. The man opened his eyes, saying, "Why do you wake me now, brother January?"

"Take the staff, brother June. Make the berries grow and ripen for this dear little child," said January.

June raised the staff and waved it over the fire. The blaze grew brighter and brighter. Again, the snow melted. Green leaves grew on the trees. The flowers bloomed. Birds sang. And ripe strawberries were red in the grass at little Dobinka's feet.

The little girl thanked January and June. Then she filled her basket with strawberries and, full of delight, ran home to Katinka.

The next day, Katinka said, "You must pick some newly ripened apples for me. Do you hear, Dobinka?"

"Pick apples in January! Apples do not grow and ripen in the winter, Katinka," said Dobinka.

"Oh, well, you found violets and strawberries in January. You can find newly ripened apples, too, if you try. So to-morrow you must go to the woods and get some apples for me," said Katinka.


The next day, Dobinka went again into the woods. Once again, she found the twelve men sitting around the fire on the high hill. January still held the staff.

"Why have you come again, child?" he said to Dobinka.

"I have come to find some newly ripened apples for Katinka," said Dobinka.

"Apples do not grow in winter," said January. "But September will help you."

January put the staff into the hands of one of the three men in many-colored mantles. The man opened his eyes, and asked,

"Why do you wake me, January?"

"Take the staff, brother September, and make the apples grow and ripen," said January.

September raised the staff and waved it over the fire. The blaze grew brighter. The snow melted. Leaves of red and gold floated from the trees. Ripe red apples fell from the apple trees.

After she had thanked January and September, Dobinka filled her basket with apples. Then she ran home to Katinka.

"I shall go into the woods, myself, and see what I can find," said Katinka, the next day.

So Katinka went into the woods and found the twelve men sitting around the fire.

"What brings you here, my child?" said January, who still held the staff.

"What is that to you?" said Katinka. "I shall not tell you what brings me."

January frowned and waved his staff over the fire. The blaze died down. The north wind blew. The sky grew black. Snow began to fall.

Then Katinka was very much frightened and tried to find her way home again.

But the snow fell thicker. The north wind blew colder. The sky grew darker and darker, as Katinka tried harder and harder to find the road. But she could not. Poor, unkind, little Katinka never reached home again.

What became of her? Only the twelve months knew.


From the clouds, the flakes of snow

Wander to the woods below,

    Falling lightly,

    Softly, whitely,

To the ground,

Heaping drifts without a sound.


Now the wind begins to blow,

Lighter, faster comes the snow,

    Falling thickly,

    Rushing quickly,

Soon there'll be

Castles built for you and me.





One night, after everyone had gone to bed, a very deep snow fell.

The next day, at school, Miss Brooks told the children about the Eskimos.

At recess, the children played that they were Eskimos.

Some of them had on fur coats and fur caps, and they thought they looked something like Eskimos.

They made blocks of snow and built Eskimo houses. They rode on sleds over the hard snow. Some of the boys played that they were Eskimo dogs, and they ran over the snow, barking and pulling the sleds. The girls had great fun riding on the sleds. After recess, they read


The Esquimos live in the far North. The ground there freezes very hard, and it is covered with deep snow nearly all the year round. It is so cold there, that all the people dress in fur most of the time.

No trees grow there. So the people build their winter homes of hard blocks of snow. While the short summer lasts, they live in tents. These tents are made of skins.

An Esquimo's winter home is a queer looking round house. It has no windows. There are three rooms in it. The first is a long, low covered way leading to the other rooms. The second room is for the dogs to sleep in. The last room is for the Esquimo family.

The Esquimos have to creep on their hands and knees to get through the low doorway and along the low covered way.

In the family room, there is a stone lamp. This lamp warms the room and cooks the food. The lamp is made of soft stone. The wick is made of moss.

A bench of ice or snow is built all around the room. This bench is covered with warm furs. The family sit on the bench, and sleep on it. Each Esquimo has a fur bag to sleep in. These bags are very warm. They are made of reindeer and bear skins.

The Esquimos travel about on sleds made of bone which are pulled by dogs. The men hunt the white bear and the reindeer. They catch many fish and seals in the water.

The Esquimos live on the meat of seals, fish, bears and reindeer. Sometimes they drink the milk of the reindeer.


Esquimo children have good times, playing.

The boys play games with a ball made of bone. They have sleds, too, made of bone. Sometimes the sleds are made of very hard ice. The boys have bows and arrows to play and hunt with. They soon learn to hunt with their fathers.

But they like best of all to roll down the snow covered hills. They put their heads on their knees, with their hands together just below the knees.

Then down the hills they roll, turning summersets as they go. They look like great balls of fur and snow, when playing this game.

Esquimo girls play with dolls made of bone. These dolls are dressed in skin and fur.

The girls stay in the queer snow houses more than the boys do. They are the happiest little creatures on earth, when the long night is over.

Should you not be tired of a night that lasts day after day, week after week, and month after month, like the Esquimo's?

When it is time for the sun to rise again, the people climb to the hilltops. There they watch till the sun rises. It shines a little while and then goes away. So the first day of the summer season is very short.

The next day the sun shines a little longer. It shines longer and longer, each day. After a while, it does not set at all, and the day is very, very long. It shines on, week after week. This is the Esquimo's summer season.

The little Esquimo girls have merry times while the long summer day lasts. They run about over the green grass and pick berries and flowers. They like to go with their mothers to milk the reindeer. They, also, like to watch the boys gather the eggs of the great sea birds. Many of these birds make their nests together on the high rocks by the sea.

After a while, the sun begins to rise later and later, and it stays away longer and longer. At last, there comes a time when the sun does not rise at all. Then the long night begins again.

But the moon and stars shine much brighter there, than they ever do here. The beautiful and wonderful Northern lights come and go in the sky. The Northern lights look something like flashes of lightning. But they are more beautiful than lightning, as they show all the colors of the rainbow.

These strange Northern lights, with the moon and stars, shine down upon the white glistening snow. They shine upon the great, dark sea, and upon those great mountains of ice that float in the sea. They shine down upon the Eskimo boys and girls, who watch and love it all.


When all the ground with snow is white,

  The merry snowbird comes,

And hops about with great delight

  To find the scattered crumbs.


How glad he seems to get to eat

  A piece of cake or bread!

He has no shoes upon his feet,

  Nor hat upon his head.


But happiest is he, I know,

  Because no cage with bars

Keeps him from walking on the snow

  And printing it with stars.


--Frank Dempster Sherman



Early in February, the children began to make valentines.

One morning, Miss Brooks said to the children,

"We will begin early to make our valentines, so we can do careful work. We will make the very prettiest valentines that we can."

Miss Brooks said that each valentine should have on it the picture of a flower, a butterfly, or a bird. Each valentine should be like a note or little letter. It should be a kind message to some one we love.

The picture on a valentine should never be ugly. The message it carries should never be unkind.

Miss Brooks then told them why we put pictures of flowers, butterflies and birds on valentines. She said that valentines are gifts that we send when the kind earth is getting ready to make beautiful gifts to us.

The butterflies are nearly ready to wake up at Valentine time. The birds are beginning then to come back from the far south, and flowers are ready to bloom.

People once thought that the little birds chose their mates on Saint Valentine's Day.


Long ago, there lived a good bishop named Valentine. He was called Saint Valentine, because he was so kind and good.

Everyone loved the good bishop. Each day he went to see some one who was poor, or sick, or sad. Little children were always glad to see him, because he was so gentle and loving to them. The birds, too, knew him and loved him. He gave them food, and they flew down to eat from his hands.

When the good bishop grew too old to go to the children, he sent them little letters. These letters were messages of love. He sometimes sent them pretty little gifts with the messages. These letters and gifts were called valentines.

The good bishop Valentine has never been forgotten.

People like to think that they are keeping his birthday on Saint Valentine's Day.


Oh! little loveliest lady mine,

What shall I send for your valentine?

Summer and flowers are far away;

Gloomy old Winter is King to-day;

Buds will not blow, and sun will not shine;

What shall I do for a valentine?


I've searched the garden all through and through

For a bud to tell of my love so true;

But the buds are asleep, and the blossoms are dead,

And the snow beats down on my poor little head:

So, little loveliest lady mine,

Here is my heart for your valentine.


--Laura E. Richards


I lived once in a little house,

    And lived there very well;

I thought the world was small and round,

    And made of pale blue shell.


I lived next in a little nest,

    Nor needed any other;

I thought the world was made of straw,

    And brooded by my mother.


One day I flew down from the nest

    To see what I could find.

"The world is made of leaves," I said,

    "I have been very blind."


And then I flew beyond the tree,

    Quite fit for grown-up labors;

I don't know how the world is made

    And neither do my neighbors.




Grace's birthday came in February.

Miss Brooks said that Grace might choose some of the poems and stories to be read in class.

So Grace asked if they might not keep the birthday of the poet Longfellow since it came in February, too.

Miss Brooks said that the class might do this. She said that they must first learn all they could about Longfellow and then write what they could about him. They must read some of his poems. Then they would learn some of his poems, and sing some of those which had been made into songs.

After they had done all this, Miss Brooks said that she would tell them a story. This story was one that Longfellow liked so much that he put it into a poem. Here is the story.



In a land beyond the sea, there once lived a wise king. This king had a large bell made. It was a beautiful bell, as bright and as yellow as gold.

The bell was hung in a high tower. A long rope was fastened to the bell,--so long, that it reached the ground. Even a very small child could catch the rope and ring the bell. On the day that the bell was put up, many people came to see it.

As they stood looking up at it, they saw the king coming.

"It may be that he will ring the bell," said some of the people.

But the king did not ring the bell. He stopped just under it and raised his hand to make the people keep silent. Then the king said,

"Listen, my people. This beautiful bell is yours. When any man, woman, or child is wronged, let that one come and ring this bell. The judges will hear it and they will come together at once. They will hear what has been done and judge the case. Then the wrong shall be righted.

"But, my people," said the king, "this bell must never be rung for any other reason."

Then the king and his knights rode away.

The people's bell hung in the high tower for years and years. Many who had been wronged rang the bell, and the judges always came at once to right the wrong.



At last the rope on the bell wore out. It became so short that only a tall man could reach it.

The judges said that they must send beyond the mountains for another rope. They said that it would take more than a week to get the new rope.

While they were waiting for the new rope, one of the judges said,

"What if some child should be wronged now? He could not reach this rope to ring the bell."

A man who stood near said, "I will make the rope longer."

He ran and cut a long grapevine and fastened it to the rope.

Now, near the town where the bell hung, there lived a rich knight. He had once been a brave soldier, but now he cared for nothing but gold.

This knight still had the horse that had carried him through many battles.

But the horse was now blind, and too old to work for his master. So the rich knight said,

"Turn him into the road. Let him eat what he can find there. He can no longer work. He is good for nothing, and if he dies it does not matter."

So the old horse was turned out into the roads and fields. He happened to wander under the people's bell on the very day that the grapevine was fastened to the short bell rope.

The poor horse was so hungry that he began to eat the leaves that still hung on the grapevine. As he ate, he pulled the vine, and this made the bell ring. It seemed to say,

"Some one . . . has done . . . a wrong!

    Has done . . . a wrong!

Some one . . . has done . . . a wrong!

    Has done . . . a wrong!

Oh come . . . and judge . . . my case!

    For I've . . . been wronged!"

"Listen," said the judges, "some one is ringing the people's bell. Some one has been wronged."

The judges went at once to the tower and there they found the poor horse eating the grape leaves.

They heard the people saying, "See that poor old blind horse. He carried his master through many a battle. He has done much hard labor for him. Now the knight turns him out to die for want of something to eat. Hear him ring the bell, trying to tell how he has been wronged."

"He shall be righted," said the judges.

So they sent for the rich knight, and when he came, they said to him,

"This poor horse has worked for you until he can work no more. He has carried you through many a battle. He has saved your life many a time. He has done much hard labor for you, since. He has helped you to make your fortune.

"Now you shall spend a part of your big fortune in building him a warm stable and getting good feed for him. You must take good care of him as long as he lives."

The knight hung his head in shame, but the people shouted for joy.



This is what the children wrote about Longfellow.

Longfellow was a great poet.

He was called the children's poet.

Longfellow loved children very much.

He wrote beautiful poems about them.

He wrote poems that children love to read.

He once wrote about a big chestnut tree.

The chestnut tree grew in his town.

This tree had to be cut down.

The children had a chair made from it.

It was a very beautiful chair.

They gave it to Longfellow.

He wrote a poem about a windmill, too.

We think it was about a Dutch windmill.

Longfellow's birthday comes in February.

We like to keep his birthday at school.

We read "The Windmill" to-day.

We have learned most of the poem.

We can say it without looking in the book.


(To be memorized)

Behold! a giant am I!

  Aloft here in my tower,

  With my granite jaws I devour

The maize and the wheat and the rye,

  And grind them into flour.


I look down over the farms;

  In the fields of grain, I see

  The harvest that is to be,

And I fling to the air my arms,

  For I know it is all for me.


--Henry W. Longfellow


I am the wind,

  And I come very fast,

Through the tall wood,

  I blow a loud blast.


Sometimes I am soft

  As a sweet gentle child,

I play with the flowers,

  Am quiet and mild.


And then out so loud

  All at once I can roar;

If you wish to be quiet,

  Close window and door.





Dolls, dolls, dolls. Did you ever see so many dolls? Here are big dolls, little dolls, pretty dolls, ugly dolls, new dolls and old dolls,--dolls everywhere!

Miss Brooks says that some of the dolls that you see are dressed like the children who live in far away countries. Soon the Second Grade children will be reading about the children in far away countries.

Do you see the Dutch doll? It came from the Dutch country.

Can you find the Eskimo doll? It is dressed in furs, just as the Eskimo people are dressed.

That queer little Japanese doll that you see, came from the Japanese country beyond the sea.

The little Dutch doll came from the "Land of the Windmills."

Miss Brooks has been telling the children about the great Feast of Dolls that little Japanese girls have, every March. That is what made the Second Grade children think of having a doll show at school, in March.

The children dressed most of the dolls for the doll show, themselves.

Carry brought a very old doll to the doll show. It was almost a hundred years old. It had belonged to Carry's grandmother. Then it belonged to Carry's mother. And Carry's mother keeps the old doll for her mother's sake, just as Carry will keep it for her mother's sake, by and by.

The children had great fun at their doll show.

How should you like to have a doll show at your school?


I once had a sweet little doll, dears,

  The prettiest doll in the world;

Her cheeks were so red and so white, dears,

  And her hair was so charmingly curled.

But I lost my poor little doll, dears,

  As I played on the heath one day;

And I cried for her more than a week, dears,

  But I never could find where she lay.


I found my poor little doll, dears,

  As I played on the heath one day;

Folks say she is terribly changed, dears,

  For her paint is all washed away,

And her arms trodden off by the cows, dears,

  And her hair not the least bit curled;

Yet for old sake's sake, she is still, dears,

  The prettiest doll in the world.


--Charles Kingsley



Once, a box of tin soldiers was given to a little boy, as a birthday present.

One of the soldiers had only one leg, but he stood up just as firmly as the others.

On the table with the soldiers, were many other toys. But the prettiest toy of all was a large paper castle.

In the doorway of the castle, a dancing doll stood upon one foot. Her eyes were the loveliest blue, and her cheeks the loveliest pink. She wore a dress of silver paper and on her breast was a jeweled star.

"How beautiful she is!" thought the tin soldier, looking at the little Dancer. "I wish she would come down here, where I am. I'm sure she can dance charmingly."

The soldier was standing behind a black box which the little boy called "Jack-in-the-Box."

When it began to grow dark, the little boy put the soldiers in their box and went away to bed. But he quite forgot the tin soldier behind the black box.

The house was very quiet till the clock struck twelve. Then, bang! Up went the lid of the black box. The black imp in it, who was "Jack-in-the-Box," popped out his head. He saw the tin soldier looking at the pretty little dancing doll in the castle doorway.

"Tin Soldier," he cried, "keep your eyes to yourself! If you don't--well, just wait till to-morrow. Then you shall see what you shall see, Tin Soldier!"

But the tin soldier didn't say a word. If he had, Jack-in-the-Box couldn't have heard him; for, when the clock had struck twelve, such a noise as began! All the toys began to jump and run and dance. And they kept up this noise all night, till bright daylight.

Next morning, the little boy came to play again in the room. He put the tin soldier in the open window, while he took the other soldiers out of the box. All at once, out tumbled the soldier to the ground below.

It was a terrible fall, but the tin soldier did not cry out at all. That would not have been a bit soldier-like, he thought. He just lay still on the ground by the drainpipe, and held firmly to his gun.

"Was it the wind that blew me out?" thought the tin soldier. "Or was it that imp of a Jack-in-the-Box, who tried so hard to frighten me?"

The little boy ran downstairs, and searched and searched and searched, but he could not find the tin soldier.


Early next morning, two boys passed by the spot where the tin soldier lay.

"Look!" cried one of them, "there is a tin soldier. Let us give him a sail."

So they made a boat of paper and put the soldier in it. Then they sent the boat floating on the water in the gutter.

The water carried the boat round and round. It knocked it from side to side of the gutter and nearly turned it over. At last, it carried the boat into the drainpipe.

Oh, how dark it was in the drainpipe! But the brave tin soldier made no sound. He held firmly to his gun, and thought of the pretty little dancer.

"I shall never see her again," he thought.

Pretty soon he heard a great noise, and then he saw daylight at the end of the drain.

The water from the drainpipe was falling into the sea, and it was taking the boat with it. Round and round went the boat, until at last it fell, breaking in pieces as it struck the sea.

Just then a great fish swam by. It opened its mouth and swallowed the tin soldier.

"This is the darkest place I have been in yet," thought the tin soldier.

He couldn't tell how long the fish had traveled about with him before he saw daylight again. But at last he heard somebody saying, "Here is a tin soldier! Just look at it! Run and take it to the children."

The fish had been caught, and cut open. And now the cook was sending the tin soldier upstairs to the children.

The children placed him on the table with cries of surprise and joy. And--wonder of wonders--the tin soldier found himself in the same room as before! Nothing was changed. There were the same children. There was the black box with the imp in it. There was the fine paper castle, with the pretty little dancer still standing on one foot at the door.

The tin soldier looked at the little dancer, and she looked back at him.

The little boy took the tin soldier in his hand and looked at him. "See," he said, "the paint is all washed off. But he holds his gun as firmly as ever. He is a fine soldier still."

Just then, somehow, the little boy let the tin soldier fall into the fire. The brave tin soldier made no sound. He still looked at the little dancer, who was looking at him.

She seemed to be smiling. She seemed to be getting ready to dance, or to fly. She did not take her eyes off the tin soldier.

Just then the door opened. The wind caught the little dancer. She flew like a fairy right into the fire to the tin soldier, and when the little boy looked, they were gone.

"Oh, my tin soldier and my pretty little dancer are gone!" said the little boy. "But I am glad they have gone away together."



Whenever the moon and the stars are set,

  Whenever the wind is high,

All night long in the dark and wet,

  A man goes riding by.

Late in the night when the fires are out,

  Why does he gallop and gallop about?


Whenever the trees are crying aloud,

  And ships are tossed at sea,

By, on the highway, low and loud,

  By at the gallop goes he.

By at the gallop he goes, and then,

  By he comes back at the gallop again.


--Robert Louis Stevenson


Once, there was a man who was cruel to all dumb creatures that walk, or creep, or fly.

One night, while in the woods, this cruel man was caught in a great storm. He began to whip his horse to make him go faster. But the horse stopped, and stood trembling.

The wind was moaning through the woods. The trees bent and shook in the rushing blast. The thunder roared, and the rain poured down upon the man and horse.

As his horse stood trembling, the man heard another horse coming. Gallop, gallop, gallop! Nearer and nearer, came the sound.

At last, he saw a great black steed, with a tall man on his back, coming toward him.

The tall horseman's long black mantle was floating out on the wind, and his eyes were flashing like fire.

As the black horse rushed by, the tall horseman swept the cruel man from his trembling horse to the back of his own great steed. Then away he went, gallop, gallop, gallop, through the wind, the rain, the thunder and the lightning.

The cruel man was terribly frightened. He cried out aloud to the tall black horseman who was carrying him away; but he did not answer a word.

At last, they stopped before a cave. Without a word, the black horseman threw the cruel man into the dark cave.

In the cave, he heard a low moaning sound. And then a flash of lightning showed him all the poor dumb creatures that he had killed or hurt in his life.

He turned and ran out of the cave into the woods. But behind him he heard the horseman coming, gallop, gallop, gallop. How the cruel man got home, he never knew.

Some say he had only been dreaming, but in any case, he was never cruel again to dumb creatures.


Easter came early this year, and the children had a good time getting ready for it.

Two or three days before Easter, their mothers showed them how to dye eggs red, yellow, blue and green.

They took some white eggs to school, and their teacher showed them how to paint pretty pictures on them.

On one of the Easter holidays, Will's mother gave an egg hunt to the children in Will's grade.

The children went home with Will, and Will's mother gave a basket to each child. The baskets were to hold the eggs that they might find. Then the hunt began. What beautiful eggs the children found!

The eggs were hidden everywhere. Down in the grass, under the bushes, in the vines--everywhere they looked, they found the colored eggs.

Then Will's mother told them an Easter story.


Once, in a country beyond the sea, there was a time of famine. A famine is a time when there is little or nothing for the people to eat.

For a long time, no rain had fallen. The seeds that had been planted did not grow, and it was hard work for the people to get food. The little children sometimes had to go hungry.

Now in that country, Easter Sunday was the time at which gifts were made to the children. Easter Sunday was, to them, what Christmas is to you. It was always the happiest time of the year.

As Easter Sunday drew near, the mothers said, "The dear children will have no gifts this year. We have nothing to give them. It is more than we can do to get food enough for them."

The mothers were all very sad, but they said nothing to the children.

One night, a happy thought came to one of the mothers, and next morning she told it to the other mothers.

"Don't be so sad," she said. "I know what we can do for the children. The hens are laying well. Let us dye some of the eggs. We can dye them with many beautiful colors. We will put the eggs in nests, which we will hide in the woods behind the church. Then we will take the children there on Easter Sunday and, when they find the eggs, they will be very happy."

This happy thought was a great delight to the mothers, and they began at once to dye the eggs.

When Easter Sunday came, every one went to the great stone church. When church was over, the mothers said,

"Come, children, let us go to the woods for a while."

So away went the merry children to the woods behind the church.

Soon the children were heard calling in delight, "Oh, mother, mother! Come here! Here are the prettiest eggs you ever saw! There are nests full of them! Such pretty nests, almost covered by the soft moss! How ever did the eggs come here?"

Just then, a rabbit jumped from behind some bushes, where he had hidden away from the children.

As he hopped off, the children cried, "See the rabbit! The rabbit must have laid these beautiful eggs."

And ever since then, children have played that the rabbits lay the pretty eggs at Easter.


Listen! In the April rain,

  Brother Robin's here again;

Songs, like showers, come and go;

  He's house building, that I know.


Though he finds the old pine tree

  Is not where it used to be,

And the nest he made last year

  Torn and scattered far and near,


He has neither grief nor care,

  Building sites are everywhere;

If one nest is blown away,

  Fields are full of sticks and hay.


Listen! In the April rain,

  Brother Robin sings again,

Sings so full of joy and glee,

  He's house building, don't you see?


--Mrs. Anderson


On Arbor Day, the school children always plant a tree on the school lawn. It is great fun to plant trees.

First, they go to the woods and help get the tiny tree. Then, they bring it to school and help plant it.

After the tree is planted, the children march around it, two by two, and sing all the tree songs they know.

Arbor Day is always Bird Day, too. So the children sing and talk about birds and trees. Then their teacher tells them stories.

Do you keep Arbor Day at your school?

Do you know this Arbor Day story?


Once there was a poor old man who wished always to make other people happy.

"If I were rich," he thought, "I could do so much for people. But I make very little money by my work. It is all I can do to buy bread to eat. What can I do for others?"

He sat thinking of these things one day, while eating an apple. It was a fine, sweet, well ripened apple, and it seemed very good to the old man.

"I wish everyone might have a good apple like this," thought he. "Ah! now I know what I can do to help others. I will plant apple trees."

After that, the old man always took apples as part of the pay for his work. He kept all the apple seeds carefully. Then, when he walked into the fields and woods, he looked for good places to plant the seed. He made holes with his stick in the soft ground, in which he planted the apple seeds. He planted a seed wherever he thought it would be pleasant to see an apple tree growing.

He kept this up for many years. As he went about, he often rested by the roadside. Then the children would come around him, and he would tell them stories, or play games with them. All the children, everywhere, loved him.

He was so willing to work, and so quick to help others, that people often said, "Do not go away. Stay with us a while."

But the old man always said, "No, I have work to do." And he went on planting apple seeds.

People laughed at him, and called him Apple-Seed John. But Apple-Seed John did not care.

"I have made so many people happy," said old Apple-Seed John, with a smile.


The cold days of winter had come, and the birds had flown away to the warm sunny South.

One little bird could not go with the others. He had broken his wing so badly that he could not fly.

And now he was all alone in the cold world of frost and snow.

"The forest looks warm," thought the little bird. "I will ask one of the trees to shelter me in its branches till spring."

So the little bird hopped along until it came to a beautiful birch tree.

"Beautiful Birch Tree," said the little bird, "my wing is broken. All my friends have flown away. Will you shelter me under your branches till my friends come back to me?"

The birch tree shook her silvery green leaves. She was sorry for the little bird. But she was not very strong, she said.

Then, too, she must think of her pale green leaves and her little leaf buds. There was no room for the little bird, she said.

"Well, the oak tree is bigger and stronger," thought the little bird. "I will ask the oak to shelter me under its branches."

So the little bird hopped to the oak.

"Great Oak," said the little bird, "you are so strong and big. My wing is broken so that I could not fly away with my friends. Will you shelter me in your branches until springtime?"

"Until springtime?" cried the oak. "That is a long time off. I have my acorns to think of. It takes acorns so long to grow. I am sorry, but I could not keep you in my branches all that time."

"Maybe the willows will be kinder to me," thought the little bird. "That willow by the brook looks very gentle. I will go and ask her to help me."



The little bird hopped along till he came to the willow by the brook.

"Gentle Willow," said the little bird, "my wing is broken. I could not fly away with the other birds. So I am all alone. May I stay with you until spring?"

"I am sorry for you, poor little bird," said the willow, sadly, as she looked down at the bird. "But I must have all the rest I can get in the winter. So I cannot take care of you. Maybe some other tree can do so."

Just then a voice was heard saying, "Where are you going, little bird?"

It was the spruce tree calling to the little bird.

"I do not know," said the little bird. "I am very cold and have broken my wing. I have been asking the trees to shelter me, but they do not seem to be willing."

"Come to me," said the spruce. "You may stay with me all winter, if you wish. Here is the branch where my leaves are thickest."

A pine tree and a fir tree stood near. They, too, had heard the bird's story. So they said, "We will help keep the North Wind from you, poor little bird."

So the spruce, the pine, and the fir made a warm shelter for the little bird.

By and by, the North Wind came into the forest. The Frost King was with him.

The North Wind began to blow with all his might.

Soon the birch tree, the oak, and the willow stood bare. All their leaves lay in heaps upon the ground.

But the Frost King said to the North Wind,

"Do not take the leaves from the trees that have been kind to the little bird. Let their leaves stay on."

So the North Wind did not blow the leaves off the spruce, the fir, and the pine trees.

And ever since then, all the spruce, the pine, and the fir trees keep their green leaves all winter.


In the heart of a seed

  Buried deep, so deep

A dear little plant

  Lay fast asleep.


"Wake!" said the sunshine,

  "And creep to the light."

"Wake!" said the voice

  Of the raindrops bright.


The little plant heard,

  And it rose to see

What the wonderful

  Outside world might be.


--Kate L. Brown




The children of the Second Grade have a school garden. They have planted seed in their garden, and have raised many pretty flowers.

There are lilies, roses, violets, daffodils and sunflowers. The children are very proud of their tall sunflowers.

They draw and paint pictures of the flowers.

They know some beautiful poems about flowers, and sing some pretty songs about them.

But best of all, they like the old stories about flowers. They like to read about flower fairies, and how the flower fairies came to be.


"Oh, Miss Brooks," said Dan, one bright April afternoon, "you said you would tell us more about the fairies in flower time. Please tell us to-day."

"Very well, I will," said Miss Brooks.

"It was said that every fairy had a golden wand," Miss Brooks began. "With these wands, the fairies could do the most wonderful things. The fairies had beautiful wings, too. But they liked to ride and drive through the air, as well as to fly.

"Sometimes the fairies rode on bats. Sometimes they rode on the beautiful large moths. Moths, you know, look like butterflies, but they fly at night.

"Sometimes the fairies caught the little red ladybirds that you children call ladybugs. Sometimes they caught the shining bluebottles. The bluebottles, you know, are the large blue flies with pretty, shining wings. The bluebottles were broken in for fairy steeds. Sometimes the fairies harnessed them to their tiny fairy cars.

"Sometimes the fairies would catch the fireflies that you children call lightning bugs. You know that the young of the lightning bugs look like worms, and they give out a light at night. You may have seen them shining with a bright green glow in the grass. The fairies would catch these, and other glowworms, to light their halls.

"All you children have seen the mushrooms in the woods. Some of them are very pretty. It was said that the fairies used these mushrooms for their tables and, also, for umbrellas.

"They gathered the little acorn cups and, from these, they drank the dew.

"The fairies loved the flowers and took great care of them. They made their beautiful robes from roses and other flowers.

"Fairies, like all the Good Folk, came out at night and slept in the daytime. But there was one day in June, called Midsummer Day, when the fairies came out in the daytime.

"On midsummer night, the fairies had a grand ball. That night, Oberon, the fairy king, came with his queen to dance with the other fairies.

"Sometimes, people see places in the meadows that look as if they had been made by the fairies while dancing around and around on the grass. These places are called fairy rings."


Clytie was a little sea fairy. She had a fair, sweet face and long golden hair. She was always dressed in a robe of beautiful sea-green lace.

Clytie's home was a shining cave far down under the sea. The walls of the cave were of pink and white shells. The floor was of glistening sand that looked like silver, and of tiny shells that looked like pearls. Branches of coral grew in the cave. The coral looked like fairy trees, all pink and white.

Beautiful shells were everywhere. Large shells, in all the colors of the rainbow, were Clytie's chairs. The waves rocked her to sleep in another large shell. Shining goldfish drew her over the water in a beautiful shell car when she wished to ride.

Every night, Clytie went driving over the sea in this shell car. But Clytie had never in her life been on the land and she had never seen the great sun.

One night, when driving in her fairy car, Clytie fell asleep and a great wave carried her to the land.

It was nearly morning when Clytie waked and found herself on land. For the first time, she heard the birds sing. For the first time, she saw the trees, the flowers, and the butterflies. Then she saw the great sun rise.

"Oh, that must be the sun, the great sun of which I have heard!" cried the little fairy.

She turned her fair face toward the sun to watch him. She watched him all day, until he sank behind the hills. Then she hastened back to her shell car, and the goldfish carried her to her home under the sea.

Next day, Clytie went again to watch the great sun rise. All day, she kept her face turned toward him, as he traveled up the sky and then down again behind the hills. As the little fairy watched the great, bright sun, day after day, she longed to be like him.

One day, Clytie sat for a long time with her little feet buried in the warm sand. When she got up to go to her car, she found that her feet had changed into roots. Her pretty robe had been changed into green leaves. Her yellow hair and fair face were changed into a flower.

And so, you see, the little sea fairy had her wish. She had become like the sun. She had become a sunflower--that flower that turns ever toward the great, bright sun.


Little brown brother, O little brown brother,

  Are you awake in the dark?

Here we lie cozily, close to each other;

  Hark to the song of the lark--

"Waken!" the lark says, "waken and dress you!

  Put on your green coats and gay!

Blue sky will shine on you, sunshine caress you--

  Waken! 'tis morning--'tis May!"


Little brown brother, O little brown brother,

  What kind of flower will you be?

I'll be a poppy--all white like my mother:

  Do be a poppy like me.

What! you're a sunflower? How I shall miss you

  When you're grown golden and high!

But I shall send all the bees up to kiss you;

  Little brown brother, good-bye!


--E. Nesbit


The children had been making May baskets in school. When they finished, their teacher said,

"Your baskets are well made, children. If all our other work is as well finished, we will have a May party this afternoon. Then we can gather wild flowers and fill our baskets. After we bring them home, we will hang them on the doors of the houses of some people who cannot go to the woods."

"Oh, that will be fine!" said Will. "I think it's fun to hang May baskets on doors. I like to hide, and see the surprise of the people when they find the pretty baskets hanging on their doors. They always look around to find who left the baskets."

And then the children went to work with a will. Such good reading, such wonderful spelling, and such sweet singing were never heard, as the children gave Miss Brooks that morning.

Early in the afternoon, they were all on their way to the woods. When they came to the woods, they rested a while under the trees before filling their May baskets.

"Miss Brooks, you know you said you would tell us some stories about fairies when Midsummer came," said Dan.

"But we will not be in school when Midsummer Day comes," said Will.

"That is true," said Miss Brooks. "Then I will tell you the Midsummer stories now." So, while the children filled their baskets, she told them this story.


Once upon a time, there was a child who wanted all the stars to play with. She cried for them from morning till night. One day she set out alone to see if she could not find the stars. She went far, far away, out into the green country.

At last, she came to a busy old mill wheel, whirling and splashing in the water by the side of a big pond.

"Good day to you, Mill Wheel," said the child. "I want all the stars in the sky to play with. Have you seen any near here?"

"Oh, yes, my little maiden," said the busy mill wheel. "I see enough of them. Every night they shine in my face from the pond until I cannot sleep. Jump into the pond and you may find them."

So the little girl jumped in, and swam about, and swam about, and swam about. But she did not find the stars.

Then the little girl jumped out, and sat down beside a brook to dry in the sun.

As she sat there, she said,

"Good day to you, Little Brook. I want all the stars in the sky to play with. Have you seen any near here?"

"Oh, yes, my little maiden," said the brook. "I have seen enough of them. They glisten in the grass beside me every night until I cannot sleep. Jump in here and splash about, and you may find the stars." So the child jumped in, and splashed about, and splashed about, and splashed about. But she did not find the stars.

Then the little girl jumped out, and sat down in the meadow to dry again in the sun.

Now it was a fairy meadow, and it was Midsummer Day. The little girl was sitting right in the middle of a fairy ring, but she didn't know it. Neither did she know that, if one steps inside of a fairy ring, the fairies themselves may be seen.

But when night came, the little girl saw the fairies dancing in the green meadow. They came right up to the fairy ring where the little girl was sitting.

She was not frightened at all. "How do you do, Good Folk?" she said. "I want all the stars in the sky to play with. Have you seen any near here?"

"Oh, yes, my little maiden," said the Good Folk. "They shine in the meadow grass every night. Come dance with us, and you may find enough stars to play with."

So the child danced around, and danced around, and danced around. She danced all night with the Wee Good Folk, but not a star did she find in the meadow.

When morning came, the Good Folk said to the little girl,

"Now we must run and hide. But you will see Four-Feet. Ask him to carry you to No-Feet. Ask No-Feet to carry you to the stairs without steps. If you can climb the stairs without steps, you may find the stars."


The child wandered on till late in the day, when she came to a horse.

"Good day to you, Four-Feet," said the child. "Will you carry me to No-Feet who knows the way to the stairs without steps?"

"I wait for the Good Folks bidding," said the horse.

"It is from the Good Folk that I come," said the little girl.

"Then jump on my back," said the horse.

The little girl did so, and away the horse galloped with the child until he came near the sea.

"This is as far as I can take you," said the horse.

Just then, a great fish swam toward the land.

"Good day to you, No-Feet," said the child. "Will you take me to the stairs without steps, please?"

"I wait for the Good Folk's bidding," said the fish.

"It is from the Good Folk that I come," said the little girl.

"Then jump upon my back," said the fish, and away he swam with the child.

Then at last, she saw a shining bridge of beautiful colors rising out of the sea and reaching to the sky.

"That looks like a rainbow, but it must be the stair without steps," said the child. "I shall climb upon it to the sky, and get all the stars to play with."

She gave a jump to land upon the rainbow bridge, and where do you think she found herself? Right in the middle of her bed, at home!


Pray, where are the bluebells gone

  That lately bloomed in the wood?

Why, the little fairies have each taken one,

  And put it on for a hood.


And where are the pretty grass stalks gone,

  That waved in the summer breeze?

Oh, the fairies have taken them every one,

  To plant in their gardens like trees.


And where are the great big bluebottles gone,

  That buzzed in their busy pride?

Oh, the fairies have caught them every one,

  And have broken them in to ride.


And they've taken the glowworms to light their halls,

  And the cricket to sing them a song;

And the great red rose leaves to paper their walls,

  And they're feasting the whole night long.




Once there was a dear, kind little girl named Mabel.

One day her mother said to Mabel,

"You must go and stay with your grandmother, to-day. You may carry her some cake and a pot of butter. Tell her I cannot come to see her to-day, because your father has gone away, and your little sister Amy is very sick. But you can wait upon your grandmother all day. You can make her bed for her. You can help cook the dinner, and you can feed the little dog.

"You can bring water from the spring called The Lady's Well. You can go to the woods and gather dry fagots for your grandmother's fire. Then you will have to go down to the lonesome glen for the sheep.

"But listen now, my little Mabel. This is Midsummer Day. It is the day that brings all the fairies from fairyland. So when you go down into the lonesome glen, keep by the running brook. Do not pick the wild strawberry flowers, and do not break the lady fern.

"Do not stop to think of the fairy folk. Think only of poor sick Amy and of how you love us all. If you see the fairies, do not be afraid. If they should speak to you, give them a kind answer.

"When you go to the spring, do not spill the water or make the spring muddy. The queen of the fairies loves the clear water. Some say that she has been seen drinking there, on many a summer night. But you need not fear her. She is kind and good.

"When you go into the wood to gather fagots, do not stay long. Be very careful to break no living bough of the woodland trees.

"Spiteful brownies are said to live in the woods. But do not think of the spiteful brownies."

To all this little Mabel answered,

"I will do just as you tell me, mother. And now I am ready to go and wait upon my grandmother this livelong summer day."


So away went little Mabel with the cake and butter. She soon came to her grandmother's house.

She told the old grandmother why her mother could not come. Then she made the bed, swept the room and set the table.

Soon her grandmother said, "Now dear child, go to The Lady's Well, and bring water for the day."

The first time Mabel went to the well, she saw nothing but a sky-blue bird sitting in a tree. The next time she went, she saw a tiny lady dressed all in green and white. Little Mabel bowed to the fairy lady, but she did not speak. Then she filled her pail from The Lady's Well, but not a drop did she spill, nor did she muddy the spring, at all.

Then the fairy lady said to Mabel,

"You have not spilled a drop of water, nor have you made the spring muddy. Now I shall give to you that which is better than riches. You shall always do well whatever you have to do. You shall always have the power to please others, and the power to help those you love. You shall always be loved by all."

Then the fairy lady went out of sight, and Mabel saw only the sky-blue bird sitting up in a tree.

When she went back to the house, her grandmother said to her, "Now dear child, go to the wood and bring some dry fagots for the fire so that we can cook the dinner."

Away went kind, willing little Mabel. She hurried to fill the basket with fagots. She would not think of the spiteful brownies. She thought only of poor little Amy who was so sick, and of her dear father and mother whom she loved so well.



But all the while, the brownies in the still wood were watching little Mabel. They saw that she did not break any of the living boughs, and that she gathered only dry fagots from the ground.

"Look at the human child!" cried a brownie. "See how small she is!"

"Look at her little blue gown and her little shoes,--how neat they are!" said another brownie.

"It would be a shame to hurt so good and kind a little girl," said another. "You see she hurts no living thing. Let us lay a good luck penny in her path to bring her good luck as long as she keeps it."

As the brownies spoke, a bright silver penny was seen shining at Mabel's feet. The little girl picked up the penny with joy, and ran with the fagots to her grandmother's house.

"And now, dear child," said the old grandmother as Mabel entered, "it is nearly night. Go down into the lonesome glen, and find the mother sheep and lambs."

Then down into the lonesome glen, where the bushes grew thick and wild, went willing little Mabel.

She kept by the running brook. She did not pick the strawberry flower nor break the lady fern. As she hunted for the mother sheep, she thought of little Amy, and wished that she were well again.

As she made the wish, she heard a queer little sound, as if hundreds of fairies were buzzing around her.

Then she heard a voice saying, "A human child is in the glen. But, see! she does not break the lady fern or pick the strawberry flowers. What shall we do for the kind child who lets the pretty green things grow?"

"Grant her a wish," said a fairy.

"Let us grant her the last wish that she has made," said all the fairies together.

Mabel heard all the words of the fairies. Then from the lonesome glen, she ran gladly back to the good old grandmother.

Now all this happened to little Mabel on that long Midsummer Day, and these were the gifts that the fairies gave her.

All her life Mabel kept the fairy gifts. Little Amy was soon well and strong again, and the fairy penny brought good luck always.

Everything that Mabel had to do, she always did well. But best of all, as long as she lived, she was loved by everyone.



These fairy umbrellas came up to-day

Under the pine tree just over the way;

And since we have had a terrible rain,

The reason they came is made very plain.


This eve is the fairies' midsummer ball,

And drops from the pine tree on them may fall,

So dainty umbrellas wait for them here,

And under their shelter they'll dance without fear.


And as you may chance in summer to meet,

These fairy umbrellas under your feet,

Take care where you step, nor crush them, I pray,

  For fear you will frighten the fairies away.


--Cora A. Dillon


There's a dainty little fairy

  With a dainty little air,

And a little jewelled crown

  On her pretty golden hair.

She has dainty little slippers

  And gauzy little wings--

And, if you listen closely,

  You can hear just what she sings.


"Midsummer Night!

Midsummer Night!

Into the glow of the moons soft light,

Fairy folk, fairy folk, hasten to me!

We'll have a grand ball

In the fairies' own hall

In the shade of the mossy old tree!"


--J. B. Tabb


One midsummer night, the Wee Folk were dancing in the meadow, in the moonlight.

Each little brownie had a tiny silver bell on his red cap. As he danced, each brownie made the sweetest music with his bell.

All at once a brownie began to cry,

"Oh, where is my bell,

My sweet, sweet silver bell?"

But no one of the Wee Good Folk could tell where the bell was.

The brownie looked and looked, until the break of day. Then he and all the Wee Folk ran back to their homes.

Next morning, a young shepherd boy was driving his sheep over the green plain. As he went whistling along, he came to the very spot in the meadow where the Wee Folk had been dancing the night before. There in the green grass, he found a tiny silver bell.

He fastened the bell to his cap, and as he walked along, the bell's sweet tinkle seemed to draw the sheep after it.

Now the poor little brownie had not slept at all since he had lost his bell. He thought some bird might have found the bell and hidden it in its nest.

So he changed himself into the shape of a bird. Then he flew to the tree tops and looked in all the birds' nests, but he did not find his bell.

As the brownie was flying back over the plain, he gave a very sad little cry.

The shepherd boy looked up, as he heard the cry.

"What a queer looking bird that is!" he said. And as he looked up, the bell in his cap began to ring, softly.

The brownie heard the clear sweet tinkle, and knew at once the music of his bell. So he flew down behind some bushes and quickly changed himself into the shape of a queer looking old woman.


Soon the young shepherd saw an old woman coming from behind the bushes.

"That little bell rings most charmingly," said the old woman. "I should like to have it very much. Will you sell it to me, young man? I will give you all this for it." And the queer little old woman held out a handful of gold to the young shepherd.

But the shepherd boy answered,

"No, no, I do not wish to sell the bell. It draws my sheep in the way I want them to go. They gladly follow its music. I do not have to guide them in any way while the little bell is ringing."

Then the old woman showed him a shepherd's staff. It was made of snow-white wood, and was very beautiful.

"Take this staff," said the old woman, "and give me the bell. So long as you guide your sheep with this staff, good luck will follow you."

The shepherd took the staff at once and gave her the bell. Then the old woman hurried away, and was never seen again.

The shepherd boy kept the staff, and in time became a rich knight. He built for himself a castle with beautiful windows and many high towers.

Often, when the moon was shining on Midsummer's Eve, the knight looked down from his castle windows upon the plain where once he had herded his sheep. And he seemed to hear, again, the tinkle of a sweet silver bell. Do you think that it could have been the dancing brownie's bell?


Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home!

  The field mouse has gone to her nest,

The daisies have shut their bright golden eyes,

  And the bees and the birds are at rest.


Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home!

  The glowworm is lighting her lamp,

The dew's falling fast, and your fine speckled wings,

  Will flag with the close-clinging damp.


Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home!

The fairy bells tinkle afar!

Make haste or they'll catch you, and harness you fast

With a cobweb to Oberon's car.


--Caroline B. Southey



This list contains all the new words that are to be drilled upon as wholes. These words are grouped by lessons, each group being numbered to correspond with the page on which that lesson begins.

5. Indians








7. ready





9. thrush







11. beside









13. North










15. cool







16. hosts







17. teacher







19. elf





20. Paul








22. four








24. magic





25. soldier







27. Bruin





29. strange







31. brought










34. Saturday










36. baskets










40. capers


41. towers



42. Thanksgiving











44. farms










48. sheaves





49. bumblebee




53. hungry


56. act







58. apron



60. large




61. anything








66. chance





68. presents




70. across










72. jolly









74. shepherd








76. afraid





78. treasure




80. middle-sized







81. penny










84. earth




86. striving




87. Dobinka











90. strawberries




92. September



94. wander




95. Eskimos




96. leading







98. summersets







101. scattered




102. early









104. bishop



105. loveliest




106. brooded



107. choose






108. judges


110. carried



113. chestnut


114. behold







115. blast




116. countries






118. charmingly






119. firmly







122. gutter





125. gallop


126. dumb






128. Easter



129. famine




132. April






133. arbor


134. ah




136. sunny









138. voice




140. buried


142. proud













145. Clytie








149. cozily




150. finished



152. busy





155. bidding



157. buzzed



158. Mabel









162. human




165. dainty


166. slippers



167. whistling


169. handful


171. speckled


The following words, occurring in the text of this book, were given in the phonic drills of the Primer and First Reader. They will, therefore, require no special drill, since the child will recognize them at a glance. This list, together with the preceding Vocabulary, includes all of the new words in the Second Reader.



The reading matter in this book is of fourfold interest to children in the second school year dealing, as it does, with Primitive Life, Fairy Lore, School Activities, and Nature Study. Because of the two last mentioned phases, it has been necessary to present the lessons in somewhat of a "seasonal" order.

It must not be inferred, however, that because of this, the reading of any portion of this book is limited to any particular time or season. It is a well-known fact that children read about snow or about Christmas with as much zest and pleasure in July, as in December. Their delight is as keen when reading in January about flowers, butterflies, and summer outings, as if it were June. Moreover, it will be found upon examination that nearly all school readers follow, more or less closely, the plan adopted in this book,--first, fall poems and stories, then successively, those about winter, spring, and summer. Yet no teacher thinks of limiting her class to the reading of the fall poems in the fall, the winter stories in the winter, etc.

Children will find, however, both pleasure and profit in turning to those stories or poems that are most appropriate to the school holiday or special occasion which they are about to celebrate, and in reading them forthwith, either as new lessons, or as reviews.

At the close of many of the lessons, lists of words are given which represent one, and sometimes two or three, different phonograms. The teacher is advised to use each of these groups of words as the basis of a longer list for drill. Diacritical marks should not be used at this stage, except when teaching phonograms in words containing one silent letter; as in whole, where the mark of elision may be used.

If the children have been systematically drilled upon the lists of phonetic words given for that purpose in the Primer, in the First Reader, and in this Second Reader, they will have acquired a thorough grounding in the mechanics of reading and will, henceforth, be able to read purely for the pleasure of reading, or for information.


Both Eskimo and Esquimo spellings are used.

In the title of the story on page 9 "BIRDS" was changed to "BEARS" to agree with title in table of contents and context of story.

Apparent typesetting errors in punctuation have been silently corrected.

[The end of The Haliburton Second Reader by Margaret Winifred Haliburton]