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Title: Our Young Folks. An Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls. Volume 4, Issue 7

Date of first publication: 1868

Author: J. T. Trowbridge and Lucy Larcom (editors)

Date first posted: Apr. 13, 2019

Date last updated: Apr. 13, 2019

Faded Page eBook #20190455

This eBook was produced by: Marcia Brooks, David T. Jones, Alex White & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at https://www.pgdpcanada.net






An Illustrated Magazine




Vol. IV. JULY, 1868. No. VII.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1868, by Ticknor and Fields, in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.

[This table of contents is added for convenience.—Transcriber.]




















ittle Ivy lived in a red house by the sea,—an old, weather-worn house, with blinking windows watching the sea for miles and miles, and with two gaunt cedars keeping grim sentry by the porch. Little Ivy lived in the red house with two white-haired grandparents, grisly and worn like their old house, but like it also still strong and cheery.

Now little Ivy was very dear to these old parents,—how dear I cannot tell you, for that is beyond the power of words. Shall I say that each strand of her yellow hair was as dear to them as their very heart-strings,—each gleam of her face and sound of her voice as their vital breath? Yet this does not express the depth, the strength, of their all-pervading love. Little Ivy loved her grandparents too,—ah, yes!—and the red house was a precious old place, and the land full of wonder and beauty. But then the sea, ah, the sea!—it was beyond compare,—Power and Peace and Light and Life Eternal.

Each day she turned to it with renewed love and faith; each day it showed her new glories, and taught her strange knowledge. In her heart she called it friend, mother, lover, and stretched her arms to it in passionate joy. She would fly across the pasture-field with never a look for the mild-eyed heifer, watching her with grave astonishment, and climb along the cliff, until she reached her nest under the shadow of the boulder. There she would nestle amid the dry sea-weed for hours, watching the gleam of waters through her yellow hair, and listening to the monotonous roll of the surf.

I doubt if the old grandmother herself would not have been puzzled by her wild actions, for the little one was usually very gentle and quiet. “Sweetheart, what have you about your neck?” the old mother would say. Then Ivy would blush a guilty red, and put her hands to her throat; but the grandmother, with good-natured roughness pulling them away, would bring to light a string of delicately tinted sea-shells. “What’s to be ashamed of in that, little one?” she would laugh; “but to my mind the blue beads the Indian woman brought are a deal prettier.” Little Ivy would say nothing—but think. Why, she prized each rosy shell as would a lover the violets fragrant from his sweetheart’s hand!

Once there was a glorious autumn day, when the sky shone a pure transparent green, and the sinking sun lighted the few fleecy clouds with palest gold; when the sea flickered a shifting sheen of marvellous color, from the deep-purple at the horizon to the translucent blue kissing the silver-white sands. On such a day little Ivy lay in her sea-weed nest, listening and watching, in a kind of dreamy maze. The gray shadows stole softly over the glowing waters; a great white moon came up, paving a shining pathway straight to Ivy’s tower; and one by one all the myriad worlds of heaven appeared, alight and blazing, and circling in their infinite tracks. A swallow flitted by, dipping its black wing for an instant in the shining waves; and then, as it disappeared in the gathering gloom, little Ivy started, and bent eagerly forward; for—how shall I tell of the wonderful thing that then happened?—a strain of music floated across the water, at first faint and weird as the bells of the sunken city, a sense of melody rather to be felt than heard, but gradually increasing in strength, swelling with each incoming wave, until, rising higher and higher, it seemed to fill the whole earth with its wild melody;—singing a song, wordless, yet fraught with strange meaning, while the great ocean rolled a deep monotone. How long this strange music lasted, or what it said, none can tell; but when the last long refrain fainted over the waters and far away, little Ivy stretched out her hands, and whispered, “I come.” Startled by her own voice, she sprang to her feet, dashed the tears from her eyes, and heard her grandmother calling loudly out her name.

The next day her old mother would not let her leave the house, and she was very restless; but the next she seemed as well as usual, and was off again to the rocks. She did not come in until late, and then she appeared white as a ghost, her eyes shining like two great harvest moons,—at least, so her grandmother said, as she hurried her off to bed. But the next day she was off again, and the next, and the next; indeed, she passed most of her time on the beach. What time she was in the house, she went lightly about, singing wild snatches of song, which sounded very strange to the old people.

On Saturday the minister’s wife came over to the red house to make a friendly visit. You can imagine the commotion it created,—how the oven was piled to bursting with all manner of savory viands,—how the best china was taken down from the corner cupboard, and the best room thrown open to the light. Little Ivy was sent to her room to adorn herself in festive array. She appeared all in white, with a yellow satin ribbon around her waist, which had been white on her mother’s bridal day, and a high tortoise-shell comb in her hair. The minister’s wife praised her appearance, and said she was growing into quite a little woman. Indeed, the good lady was surprised to find in the pale little girl she remembered this wonderful creature, with dazzlingly brilliant eyes and scarlet cheeks. After the early tea, when the minister’s white horse and green chaise were brought around to the door, it was found that the sky was piled black with threatening clouds, and big drops caked the sandy road. Of course the two old people would not hear of their minister’s wife leaving at such a time; it was out of the question. So at last the lady was persuaded to remain.

Then followed a busy time; the spare room was to be aired, the bed to be spread with fresh linen, and the cakes to be set for the next morning’s breakfast. Indeed, so busily occupied was the grandmother, and so weary when her bed-hour came, that, for almost the first time in her life, she forgot to visit little Ivy in her room under the eaves, as was her wont. About midnight she was wakened from her first heavy sleep by hearing her husband moving about the room. She rubbed her eyes, and saw him pulling on his great seaman’s coat. “What is it?” she asked.

He answered gruffly, “The surf.”

Then she became conscious of a deep, solemn roar, which seemed to shake the very foundations of the earth, while the house trembled from cellar to roof. Hastily pulling a few clothes over her trembling limbs, she followed her husband down the stairs. She found him standing in the porch with the minister’s wife. He took up a lighted lantern, and groped slowly across the field, leaving the two women alone, pale and excited. A great gale blew in from the sea, heavy with salt spray; overhead the black clouds flitted hastily across the moon; and above all and through all came the awful, deafening sound of the waters, knocking at the gates of the earth, and calling, “Open, open!”

Presently the old man returned, shaking his white head. He shouted: “The water dashes clean over the boulder; the highest tide of these sixty years; it’s awful to see.”

“Heaven have mercy on the poor sailors!” murmured the minister’s wife.

Suddenly the old woman turned, and crept up the dark stairway with a sharp pang at her heart. She opened Ivy’s door, and, looking in, called, “Are you there, darling?”

There came no answer; but just then the moon gleamed out brightly, lighting the room from corner to corner. It showed the little white bed, smooth and untouched, the table with its few well-worn books and heap of precious shells, but no sign of living soul. The old woman lighted a candle, and examined carefully room after room, but to no avail. Then she went out to her husband, and shouted hoarsely, “Where is Ivy?”

Alas! need I tell of the wild search that followed?—of the white-haired grandparents flying hither and thither with heart-rending cries?—of the fearful suspense, reduced to still more cruel certainty after long days of fruitless search? The turbulent waters sank to their level again, the blue waves kissed the white sands, and the rocks rose brown and warm in the sunlight; but never again was seen the little golden-haired figure flitting among them, or nestling in the dry sea-weed. A few months after the broken-hearted grandparents were gathered into God’s Acre, a tortoise-shell comb was found in a crevice of the rock under the boulder; and, to this day, yarn-loving old fishermen protest they hear at times the strangest kind of music around the red-house cliffs.

May Mather.


Little Pearl Honeydew, six years old,

From her bright ear parted the curls of gold,

And laid her head on the strawberry-bed,

To hear what the red-cheeked berries said.


Their cheeks were blushing, their breath was sweet,

She could almost hear their little hearts beat;

And the tiniest lisping, whispering sound

That ever you heard came up from the ground.


“Little friends,” she said, “I wish I knew

How it is you thrive on sun and dew!”

And this is the story the berries told

To little Pearl Honeydew, six years old.


“You wish you knew? and so do we!

But we can’t tell you, unless it be

That the same kind Power that cares for you

Takes care of poor little berries too.


“Tucked up snugly, and nestled below

Our coverlid of wind-woven snow,

We peep and listen, all winter long,

For the first spring day and the bluebird’s song.


“When the swallows fly home to the old brown shed,

And the robins build on the bough overhead,

Then out from the mould, from the darkness and cold,

Blossom and runner and leaf unfold.


“Good children then, if they come near,

And hearken a good long while, may hear

A wonderful tramping of little feet,—

So fast we grow in the summer heat.


“Our clocks are the flowers; and they count the hours

Till we can mellow in suns and showers,

With warmth of the west wind and heat of the south,

A ripe red berry for a ripe red mouth.


“Apple-blooms whiten, and peach-blooms fall,

And garlands are gay by the garden-wall,

Ere the rose’s dial gives the sign

That we can invite little Pearl to dine.


“The days are longest, the month is June,

The year is nearing its golden noon,

The weather is fine, and our feast is spread

With a green cloth and berries red.


“Just take us betwixt your finger and thumb—

And quick, O quick! for, see! there come

Tom on all-fours, and Martin the man,

And Margaret, picking as fast as they can!


“O dear! if you only knew how it shocks

Nice berries like us to be sold by the box,

And eaten by strangers, and paid for with pelf,

You would surely take pity, and eat us yourself!”


And this is the story the small lips told

To dear Pearl Honeydew, six years old,

When she laid her head on the strawberry-bed

To hear what the red-cheeked berries said.

J. T. Trowbridge.


Elizabeth Eliza had a present of a piano, and she was to take lessons of the postmaster’s daughter.

They decided to have the piano set across the window in the parlor, and the carters brought it in, and went away. After they had gone, the family all came in to look at the piano; but they found the carters had placed it with its back turned towards the middle of the room, standing close against the window.

How could Elizabeth Eliza open it? How could she reach the keys to play upon it?

Solomon John proposed that they should open the window, which Agamemnon could do with his long arms. Then Elizabeth Eliza should go round upon the piazza and open the piano. Then she could have her music-stool on the piazza, and play upon the piano there.

So they tried this; and they all thought it was a very pretty sight to see Elizabeth Eliza playing on the piano, while she sat on the piazza with the honeysuckle vines behind her.

It was very pleasant, too, moonlight evenings. Mr. Peterkin liked to take a doze on his sofa in the room; but the rest of the family liked to sit on the piazza. So did Elizabeth Eliza, only she had to have her back to the moon.

All this did very well through the summer; but, when the fall came, Mr. Peterkin thought the air was too cold from the open window, and the family did not want to sit out on the piazza.

Elizabeth Eliza practised in the mornings with her cloak on; but she was obliged to give up her music in the evenings, the family shivered so.

One day, when she was talking with the lady from Philadelphia, she spoke of this trouble.

The lady from Philadelphia looked surprised, and then said, “But why don’t you turn the piano round?”

One of the little boys pertly said, “It is a square piano.”

But Elizabeth Eliza went home directly, and, with the help of Agamemnon and Solomon John, turned the piano round.

“Why did not we think of that before?” said Mrs. Peterkin. “What shall we do when the lady from Philadelphia goes home again?”

Lucretia P. Hale.


My dear grandmother,—

I am back again, and had a good time; but came back hungry. I’ll tell you why. The first time I sat down to table I felt bashful, and Dorry’s mother said a great deal about my having a small appetite, and afterwards I didn’t like to make her think it was a large one.

I guess I behaved quite well at the table. But I couldn’t look the way you said. It made me feel squint-eyed. Once I almost laughed at table. The day they had roast duck, it smelt nice. I thought it wouldn’t go round, for they had company besides me; and I said, “No, I thank you, ma’am.” Dorry whispered to me, “You must be a goose not to love duck”; and that was when I almost laughed at table. His grandmother shook her head at him.

Now I’ll tell about Tom Cush’s father. That Saturday, when we were eating dinner, somebody came to the front door and inquired for us two,—Dorry and me. It was Tom Cush’s father. He wanted to ask us about Tom, and whether we knew anything about him. But we knew no more than he did. He talked some with us. The next evening,—Sunday evening,—Tom Cush’s mother sent for Dorry and me to come and see her. His father came after us. She said they wanted to know more about what I wrote to you in those letters.

O, I don’t want ever again to go where the folks are so sober. The room was just as still as anything, not much light burning, and great curtains hanging way down, and she looked like a sick woman. Just as pale! Only sometimes she stood up and walked, and then sat down again, and leaned way forward, and asked a question, and looked into our faces so. We didn’t know what to do. Dorry talked more than I could. Tom’s father kept just as sober! He said to Dorry: “It is true, then, that my boy wouldn’t own up to his own actions!” or something like that.

Dorry said, “Yes, sir.”

Tom’s father said, “And he was willing to sit still and see another boy whipped in his place?”

“Yes, sir,” Dorry said. But he didn’t say it very loud.

Then they stopped asking questions, and not one of us spoke for ever so long. O, ’twas so still! At last Dorry said, just as softly, “Can’t you find him anywhere?” And then I said that I didn’t believe he was lost.

Then Tom’s father got up from his chair and said, “Lost? That’s not it. That’s not it. ’Tis his not being honorable! ’Tis his not being true! Lost? Why he was lost before he left the school.” Says he: “When he did a mean thing, then he lost himself. For he lost his truth. He lost his honor. There’s nothing left worth having when they are gone.”

O, I never saw Dorry so sober as he was that night, going home. And when we went to bed, he hardly spoke a word, and didn’t throw pillows, or anything. I shut my eyes up tight and thought about you all at home, and Aunt Phebe, and Aunt Phebe’s little Tommy, and about school, and about Bubby Short, and all the time Tom’s mother’s eyes kept looking at me just as they did; and when I was asleep I seemed back again in that lonesome room, and they two sitting there.

From your affectionate grandchild,

William Henry.

P. S. I want to tell that when I was at Dorry’s I let a little vase fall down and break. I didn’t think it was so rotten. I felt sorry, but didn’t say so; I didn’t know how to say it very well. I wish grown-up folks would know that boys feel sorry very often when they don’t say so, and sometimes they think about doing right, too. And mean to, but don’t tell of it. Next time I shall tell about Bubby Short and me going to ride in Gapper’s donkey-cart. He’s going to lend it to us. I should like to buy them a new vase.

W. H.

P. S. Benjie’s had a letter, and one twin fell down stairs.

My dear Grandmother,—

Please to tell my sister I am much obliged to her for picking up that old iron for me. But that old rusty fire-shovel handle, I guess that will not do to put in again. For my father said, the last time, that he had bought that old fire-shovel handle half a dozen times. But Aunt Phebe’s Tommy, he pulls it out again to ride horseback on.

I know a little girl just about as big as my sister, named Rosy. Maybe that is not her name. Maybe it is, because her face is so rosy. She had a lamb. And she’s lost it. It ate out of her hand, and it followed her. It was a pet lamb. But it’s lost. Gapper came up to inquire about it. Mr. Augustus wrote a notice and nailed it on to the Liberty Pole, and then Dorry chalked out a white lamb on black pasteboard, and painted a blue ribbon around its neck, and hung that up there too.

Gapper let Bubby Short and me have his donkey-cart to go to ride in. He kicked up when we licked him, and broke something. But a man came by and mended it. So we didn’t get back till after dark. But the master didn’t say anything after we told the reason why. Did you ever see a ghost? Do you believe they can whistle? I’ll tell you what I ask such a question for.

There is an old house, and part of it is torn down, and nobody lives in it. It is built close to where the woods begin. The boys say there is a ghost in it. I’ll tell you why. They say that if anybody goes by there whistling, something inside of that house whistles the same tune. Dorry says it’s a jolly old ghost. Mr. Augustus thinks ’tis all very silly. Now I’ll tell you something.

The night Bubby Short and I were coming back from taking a ride in Gapper’s donkey-cart, we tried it. We didn’t dare to lick him again, for fear he would kick up, so we rode just as slow!—and it was a lonesome road, but the moon was shining bright.

Says Bubby Short, “Do you believe that’s the honeymoon?”

“No,” says I. “That’s what shines when a man is married to his wife.”

“Are you scared of ghosts?” said Bubby Short.

“Can’t tell till I see one,” says I.

“How far off do you suppose they can see a fellow?” says he.

Says I, “I don’t know. They can see best in the dark.”

“Do you think they’d hurt a fellow?” says he.

“Maybe,” says I. “There’s the old house.”

“I know it,” says he; “I’ve been looking at it.”

Says I, “Are you scared to whistle?”

“Scared? No,” says he. “Let’s whistle, I say.”

“Well,” says I, “you whistle first.”

“No,” says he, “you whistle first.”

“Let him whistle first,” says I.

“He won’t do it. Ghosts never whistle first,” says he.

I asked him who said that, and he said ’twas Dorry.

Then I said, “Let’s whistle together.”

So we waited till we almost got past, and then whistled “Yankee Doodle.” And, grandmother, it did,—it whistled it.

Bubby Short whispered, “Lick him a little.”

Then I whispered back, “ ’Twon’t do to. If I do, he won’t go any.”

But in a minute he began to go faster of his own accord. He heard somebody ahead calling. It was Gapper, coming to see what the matter was that kept us so late. Now what do you think about it?

From your affectionate

William Henry.

P. S. My boots leak. Shall I get them tapped, or get a new pair, or throw them away, or keep the legs to make new boots of?

W. H.

My dear Grandmother,—

Sometimes Dorry writes stories in his letters for his sister, just as he tells them to her, talking, at home. Now I’ll write one for my sister, and I’ll call it by a name. I’ll call it

The Story of the Great Storm.

Once there was a little boy named Billy, and Gapper lent him his donkey to go ride. That’s me, you know. Next day Gapper came and said, “You boys lost my whip.” Now I remembered having the whip when we crept in among the bushes,—for we got sight of a woodchuck, and came near finding his hole. So when school was done at noon, I asked leave to put some bread and meat in my pocket, instead of eating any dinner, and go to look for Gapper’s whip. And he said I might. ’Twas two miles off. But I found it. And I dug for a good deal of sassafras-root. And picked lots of box-berry-plums.

And I never noticed how the sky looked, till I heard a noise something like thunder. It was very much like thunder. Almost just like it. I thought it was thunder. Only it sounded a great ways off. I was walking along slow, snapping my whip and eating my dinner, for I thought I wouldn’t hurry for thunder, when something hard dropped down close to me. Then another dropped,—and then another. And they kept dropping. I picked one up and found they were hailstones, and they were bigger than bullets.

It kept growing dark, and the hailstones came thicker, and hit me in the face. Then they began to pour right down, and I ran. They beat upon me just like a driving storm of sharp stones. The horses and cows went across the fields like mad. The horses flinging their heads up. I was almost to that old house and ran for that, and kicked the door through to get in, for I thought I should be killed with the hail. The shingles off the roof were flying about; and when I got inside ’twas awful. I thought to be sure the roof would be beat in. Such a noise! It sounded just exactly as if hundreds of cartloads of stones were being tipped up on to the roof. And then the window-glass! It was worse than being out doors, for the window-glass was flying criss-cross about the room, like fury, all mixed up with the hail. I crouched down all in a bunch and put my arms over my head, and so tried to save myself. But then I spied a closet door a crack open, and I jumped in there. And there I sat all bent over with my hands up to my ears, and thought, O, what would become of me if the old house should go. And now the strangest part is coming. You see ’twas a pretty deep closet—School-bell! I didn’t think ’twas half time for that to ding. I’ll tell the rest next time. Should you care if I brought home Dorry to make a visit? He wants to, bad. ’Twould be jolly if Bubby Short went too.

From your affectionate grandchild,

William Henry.

My dear Grandmother,—

Everybody’s been setting glass. Counting the house and the school-house, and the panes set over the barn door, and four squares in the hen-house, we had to set four hundred and twenty-three squares. The expressman has brought loads and loads. All the great boys helped set. We slept one night with bedquilts and rugs hung up to the windows. The master tried to shut his blind in the storm, but the hail drove him in, and he couldn’t even shut down his window again. A rich man has given to The Two Betseys better windows than they had before. Now I will tell about my being in that closet.

When it began to grow stiller, I took my hands down from my ears, and one hand when it came down touched something soft. Quite soft and warm. I jumped off from it in a hurry. Then I heard a kind of bleating noise, and a little faint “ba’a ba’a.” But now comes the very strangest part. Farther back in the closet I heard somebody move, somebody step. I was scared, and gave the door a push, to let the light in. Now who do you think was there? Aunt Phebe must stop reading and let you guess. But maybe you’re reading yourself. Then stop and guess. ’Twasn’t a ghost. ’Twasn’t a man. ’Twasn’t a woman. ’Twas Tom Cush! and Rosy’s lamb!

Says he, “William Henry!” Says I, “Tom!” Then we walked out into the room, and O, what a sight! Says I, “I thought ’twas going to be the end of the old house.”

Says Tom, “I thought ’twas going to be the end of the world.”

In the corners the hailstones were heaped up in great banks. You might have shovelled up barrels full. Most of them were the size of bird’s eggs. But some were bigger. Then we looked out doors. The ground was all white, and drifts in every cornering place, and the leaves stripped off the trees. Then we looked at one another, and he was just as pale as anything. He leaned against the wall, and I guessed he was crying. To see such a great boy crying seemed most as bad as the hailstorm. Maybe he didn’t cry. When he turned his head round again, says he: “Billy, I’m sick, and what shall I do?”

“Go home,” says I.

“No,” says he, “I won’t go home. And if you let ’em know, I’ll—” And then he picked up Gapper’s whip,—“I’ll flog you.”

“Flog away,” says I; “maybe I shall, and maybe I sha’n’t.”

He dropped the whip down, and says he, “Billy, I sha’n’t ever touch you. But they mustn’t know till I’m gone to sea.”

I asked him when he was going. And he told me all about it.

When he was sent away from school, he went into town and inquired about the wharves for a chance to go, and got one, and came back to get some things he left hid in the old house, and to wait till ’twas time to go. He sold his watch, and bought a great bag full of hard bread and cheese and cakes.

He was mad at Gapper for setting a man to watch, and so he took Rosy’s lamb. He was going to kill it. And then skin it. But he couldn’t do it. It licked his hand, and looked up so sorryful, he couldn’t do it. And when he cut his foot—he cut it chopping something. That’s why he stayed there so long. And he was the ghost that whistled. He knew the fellows wouldn’t go in to see what it was that whistled. And he ate up most all his things, and tied a string to the lamb, and let it out nights to eat grass, and then pulled it in again.

I wouldn’t have stayed there so for anything. He went into town three times, nights, to get victuals to eat. I don’t see what he wants to be such a kind of a boy for. He says he means to go to sea, and if ever he’s good he’s going home. I told him about his father and mother, and he walked while I was talking, and kept his back towards me. I asked him what ailed him, and he said ’twas partly cutting him, and partly sleeping cold nights, and partly the crackers and cheese. I gave him the rest of my meat, and he was glad enough.

He said he was ashamed to go home.

Now I have got to the end of another sheet of paper. I wish I hadn’t begun to tell my sister this story. It takes so long. And I want every minute of the time to play in. For ’tis getting a little cooler, and a fellow can stand it to run some. The master says it’s good weather for studying. Dorry says he never saw any weather good enough for studying. I shall write a very short letter next time, to tell the rest of it.

From your affectionate grandchild,

William Henry.

P. S. I forgot to put this letter in the office. I guess I will not write any more letters till I go home. I was going to tell more, but I can do it better talking. I went to see Tom Cush the next day, and he had gone. Rosy’s got her lamb back again. But her flower-garden was killed by the hail. Not one leaf left. She found her lamb on the doorstep, waiting to get in.

Mrs. A. M. Diaz.


The best way of studying the nature and habits of wild animals is, of course, by observation of them in their native haunts; but as it would be inconvenient for many people, nay, impossible, to pass much of their time in the fields and woods, they who are closely pent up in cities should avail themselves of every opportunity to visit such collections of curious living creatures as may be within their reach. Much information about natural history is afforded even by museums containing specimens made to look lifelike by the skill of the taxidermist, or person who preserves and stuffs the skins of animals. It is far more interesting, however, as well as instructive, to observe the living creatures, most of which retain in a state of captivity a great deal of their distinctive nature, character, and habits. Suppose we take a turn, then, among the dens and cages in and about the large building in Central Park, close by Fifth Avenue. There are not, to be sure, a great many animals in this collection as yet, but we shall find a few rare and curious ones among them; and, if the ways of some of them are ugly and wicked, the ways of others are decidedly droll.

It is late in the fall now, we will suppose, and most of the caged animals have been removed into the building from their summer quarters outside, though a few of the hardier kinds are still kept in the open air. Look at that little fellow, nibbling so busily at the wires of his cage,—a broad, fat little fellow, with very short legs, soft brown hair, and bright eyes. That is a prairie-dog,—at least he is so called by the trappers, because he lives on the prairies, and gives a short, sharp yelp, something like that of a pup two or three months old. He has nothing of the dog about him, either in appearance or habits, but is, in fact, a species of marmot. On the plains of the far West, where the prairie-dogs are very common, they dwell together in large communities, called prairie-dog villages by the settlers in those districts. In some places they do not keep themselves quite to themselves, but have a way, as it would appear, of letting unfurnished apartments in their burrows. Rattlesnakes, and queer little blink-eyed birds called burrowing owls, are the only lodgers, however, admitted by Mr. and Mrs. Prairie-dog to their spare rooms. There is no accounting for taste, nor can I give any explanation of this curious fact. A hunter to whom I once applied for information on the subject—he was a jocose kind of man—said that he guessed the snakes were admitted in order that they might divert with their rattles the young prairie-dogs while cutting their teeth; that they paid for their lodging with their music, in fact, like certain foreign professors, and got their board outside. But this, of course, was only banter on the part of the wild joker of the plains, and must not be seriously entertained as an explanation of what is really a very singular fact in natural history.

Here, in a large cage, passing and repassing one another with restless steps, go four gray creatures that are also natives of the prairies, though of a species far different from the one just mentioned. These are prairie-wolves,—a kind less fierce and dangerous than the common wolf of the mountains and forests, but very crafty and sly, and apt to give trouble to the settlers and campers of the plains. The prairie-wolf is by nature a thief, and, like most followers of that creditable calling, he is likewise an arrant coward. To look at him, he reminds one of a dog of disreputable character, who had early left the parental roof and taken to evil courses, until he had lost every trace of respectability, and become the sneaking, unprincipled loafer that he is. The fellow will pounce upon an unsuspecting lamb or fawn whenever he gets a chance; but, if there should be a dog in the case, he keeps at a respectable distance,—for he is a contemptible coward, as I have said.

A near cousin of the prairie-wolf’s, evidently, is the fox. Here are a couple of young red ones, rolled up tightly on the floor of their cage, pretending to be asleep. I was acquainted with a pet fox, once upon a time, who used to play at this game for the purpose of decoying the simple chickens within the length of his chain. He used to spread portions of his food a little way beyond, and a little way within, the circle to which he was limited, and then would stretch himself out, with one eye tightly closed and the other half open. I think he used even to snore, though I will not be positive about that. He would allow the chickens to come quite close to him before he would make the least movement; and once, as I watched him from a window, I saw an innocent duckling waddle so close up to him that he actually caught it in his mouth, without extending a paw, and, having made about two bites of it, lay tranquilly off again, in one of his sham dozes, to wait for another victim. The silver-gray fox and the black fox are relatives of the red one, from which they differ chiefly in color; but, as they are rare, their skins are more valuable than that of the latter,—the black fox being worth from forty to sixty dollars, according to the thickness and rich velvety hue of his fur.

Twenty eagles, in a very large cage fitted up with numerous perches, are a great attraction to the visitors here. They are, with three or four exceptions, of the bald, or, rather, white-headed species. For this kind of eagle is not in reality bald, though the white color of his head gives him, at some little distance, the appearance of an elderly bird whose presence would be improved by a wig,—if you can only fancy a wig made of feathers. There is a tank filled with water on the floor of the cage, and one venerable eagle has just alighted upon the edge of it, intent upon having a bath. He hesitates a good deal before he plunges in; and, when he does, he screams just as little boys and girls do when they are dipped under a billow at some bathing-place upon the sea-shore. Then there is a tremendous flapping of wings and splashing of water, and the feathers fly like brown autumn leaves in a breeze,—all to the great delight of the young people who are leaning over the railing in front of the cage. They know something about eagles and other wild creatures, because they often come here, and their familiarity with the birds and beasts leads them to seek information about them in books. But here comes a man, clothed in respectable apparel, who, addressing me, points to the eagles, and asks what these strange birds are. I inform him that they are eagles; whereupon he says, that, never having seen eagles before, he took them for a species of grouse. Where could this man have come from? The children cannot help laughing at him as he goes wisely to gaze at the bears, which he will probably describe by and by to his friends—if he has any—as a species of rabbit.

And here we are in front of the bears’ den, which contains, at present, only two occupants. These are both young bears of the common, or black species. One of them is lying close by the bars of the den, and seems to take but little interest in anything, just now, except in one of his paws, which he sucks with as much apparent relish as if it were made of maple sugar. The other is exercising his muscles by climbing the branched pole with which the cage is fitted. Sometimes he descends to the floor, and, standing away from the pole, peers up at it with a sagacious expression about his nose, as if trying to detect a visionary bees’ nest amid the branches of an imaginary tree. These black bears are very fond of wild honey, and they have no hesitation whatever in attacking a nest of bees whenever they discover one, their thick fur protecting them effectually against the stings of the fierce little insects. During the severe weather of winter, the bears remain for the most part in the depth of the woods, where they sleep away the time in some cavern formed by the roots of a fallen tree, or within the hollow trunk of one large enough to make a sort of hall bedroom for a single bear of regular habits.

Next we come to a sort of pigpen,—a small enclosure with a hut in it; the latter fitted, as we may fairly guess, with all the modern conveniences essential to the comfort of its occupants. And a pair of queer little fellows these are,—specimens of the small wild boar called the peccary, which is a native of Mexico, as well as of several parts of Central and South America. They have large, piggy heads, but the length of their legs indicates that they can run with great swiftness. Their bristles are very thick, and of a color that suggests the idea of pepper and salt,—just as if the little pigs were ordered to be converted into sausages while yet alive, and had already undergone the process of seasoning. These peccaries are very courageous, and even ferocious, when molested. One of them will keep several dogs at bay for a good while, protecting himself in the rear by standing against a large tree, or in the angle of a fence, and ripping up with his sharp tusks any of his assailants that may be rash enough to come to close quarters with him. Sometimes, when attacked by a hunter, a herd of them will turn upon him; and then his only chance of escape is to climb into a tree, round which these wicked little pigs will go raging for hours, grunting and squeaking horribly, all the while, to the intense gratification, doubtless, of the gentleman “up the tree.”

The fattest, busiest, and funniest creatures that we have yet come to are these two, engaged in throwing up earthworks in their cage. They are badgers from the prairies of the far West, where large spaces of ground are sometimes excavated by them. On this account the buffalo-hunters have a great grudge against them, often getting dangerous falls, when in full gallop, by their horses breaking through the thin crust over these badger-holes. Round and round the cage these corpulent little fellows go, waddling like ducks, and stopping every now and then to dive into holes rooted by them in the clay floor, from which they throw out showers of earth behind them with their fore paws. Were there not a wooden or a brick floor under the clay one, they would soon dig their way out of the cage.

It is a mellow Indian-summer afternoon, inviting to amusement and relaxation from toil; and now crowds of people, old and young, are thronging about the cages. Let us take a turn, then, into the basement of the large building, before it becomes inconveniently crowded by the moving throng. It is warm, in here, to a degree of summer heat; for many of the lodgers are natives of tropical climates, and could not endure the cold of our winters. In a little enclosure in one corner a couple of camels are weaving their long necks to and fro, with an expression of meek resignation upon their large faces. They look as though they could bite, on occasions, however; and it is known that camels, although generally very docile, will sometimes turn and seize their riders by the legs, if abused or overdriven. Let us approach these lofty hunchbacks of the desert, and salute them, in Oriental phrase, with Salaam-a-leikoom, “Peace be with you.” Probably they have forgotten the language, or it may be that it reminds them unpleasantly of their state of close captivity; for they only knit their brows and curl their lips, as if with hostile purpose. The camel is said to have an ear for music, and to evince signs of satisfaction when his rider, lounging listlessly back among the packages upon the creature’s hump, chants some wild melody of the desert in praise of camels. When the rider happens to be in a bad humor about anything, however, he changes his tune to a less pleasing one, and addresses the abashed beast in some such words as these:—

“Progeny of a dog! descendant of a disreputable ancestor! is there no gratitude in your miserable heart for the benefits that I have lavished upon you? Infidel! varlet! caitiff! may the Prophet send large gadflies to bite you about the eyelids and nostrils! and may the sand of the desert be red-hot for your ugly, splay feet!”

That creature plunging about in his tank of water is the coypu, generally known as the neutria among the furriers, who deal largely in the skins of his kind. Now that he has come out of the water, and sits upon his wet plank, you can see that he resembles a muskrat, only that he is more than double the size of that inhabitant of our marshes and river-banks. He comes to us all the way from South America, along the inland waters of which his tribe is settled. A plain salad of grass or weeds, without sauce of any kind, seems to be his regular food; though, as he is known to be very fond of shell-fish, it would be well for the keepers to treat him, now and then, to a supper of oysters or clams on the half-shell.

There is not a more repulsive member of the monkey tribe than that bloated, surly, big-headed brute, sulking all by himself in that large cage. That is the chacma, or dog-faced baboon; and sorry I should be to own a dog that could not show a better face than that of Mr. Chacma. When he moves about, he goes on all-fours; but most of the time he sits brooding close by the bars of his cage, like a convict in a prison cell. Pass him by; he is not an agreeable object to contemplate.

Far more amusing are those distant cousins of his, the monkeys of various kinds, that are performing such wonderful feats of agility in this cage. One of them—a black-faced fellow—looks like a little old negro man in miniature, though I do not remember ever to have observed any very old man, whether white or black, making such tremendous leaps, and summersaults, and handsprings, as this small acrobat does. These monkeys are constantly playing off practical jokes upon one another,—the ones with the longest tails appearing to be a source of endless humor to those that have not so much tail to be pulled. I have seen one of them coil his tail round the neck of another, and drag him about the cage until he was nearly strangled,—which could hardly have been a joke to one of the parties in the transaction. The young folks take great delight in watching the gambols of these restless creatures, who accept eagerly the bits of apple or cracker offered them. Once, I remember, when a little girl had given a piece of cake to a very gentlemanly-looking monkey with long red whiskers and a bald head, an old lady remarked, with a toss of her chin, “Well, I guess the fellow might have said ‘Thank you,’ anyways!” She was evidently so impressed with his resemblance to a human being as to have forgotten that monkeys do not possess the gift of speech.

That ball of yellow fur, rolled up in a corner of a cage, is the singular creature called the kinkajou, or mico-leon. The latter name is Spanish, and means “monkey-lion,” although the kinkajou has nothing in common with either of those animals. He is a native of the South American forests, where he lives mostly in trees, through the branches of which he travels with great agility, swinging himself from branch to branch with his long, grasping tail. He bears a rather unfavorable reputation, being much addicted to making raids upon the neighboring hen-roosts, when the inmates of the farm-houses are wrapped in slumber. Like the bear, he is very fond of honey, and makes terrible havoc among the stores of the wild bee. The kinkajou sleeps all day, but is very active and lively at night; and if he would only uncoil himself now, you would see that he is a creature of about the size of a cat, and that he has a very long tail, a small round face, a black nose, and queer little blinking eyes.

A finer eagle than any of those that we have seen outside is this brown and white one, standing majestically upon a rock in the centre of his cage. This is the harpy, a South American eagle of great strength and ferocity. Observe the immense power of his yellow legs and claws. The feathers on the back of his head are long and loose, and he erects them, every now and then, so that, in certain positions, they give him the aspect of a huge horned owl. See how his dark eyes flash as he seems to catch a glimpse of some imaginary prey! Perhaps he is circling, in fancy, high in air over the morasses of far Surinam, watching his opportunity for a swoop down upon some stray beast or bird of that tropical region.

There is a ceaseless din here among the cages,—a mingling of the voices of monkeys and parrots; for it is by these that most of the noise is made in such collections as this. The parrots, you will see, are in great variety of size and color,—green and red prevailing in the plumage of most of them, however,—and they are all remarkable for their loud, harsh voices. The most attractive among them are these lemon-crested cockatoos, who look so bright and fresh in their clean white garb. One of these is an old resident of the Park, and has become very impudent and familiar. He is continually hinting, in a cracked, husky, old voice, that “Polly wants a cracker”; and when he gets one he holds it in his claw in a very human way, and looks at it, with his head on one side, after every bite. The children seem to be on very good terms with this cunning old bird, who gives gymnastic entertainments for their amusement,—going down the bars of his cage head-foremost, with the assistance of his beak, and performing several wonderful feats of posturing and tumbling.

The storks—a pair of graceful birds with bright red bills, and long, slender legs of the same color—do not seem to be quite so happy here as they are in the summer-time, when they are allowed to roam at their own free will about the nooks and meadows of the Ramble. They are very tame, because in Holland, the country from which they come, people are not allowed to molest them, their services being considered valuable in picking up the garbage of the streets and gutters.

There are many other birds and beasts here that I should like to mention, but now we must go. As we pass out, however, we stop for a moment to admire the ocelot, as he lies there, licking his tawny sides with a contented air. He is one of the smallest and most beautiful of the leopard tribe, and, if domesticated while young, becomes as gentle and playful as a common cat. And here, in a dark corner, we have a glimpse of a glass case containing something partially rolled up in a blanket. It is a small boa-constrictor; and a pigeon, which has been provided for his breakfast when he wakes up, is quietly roosting upon his coils, unconscious of impending fate.

Well, here we are in the open air again; and, as we turn into the walk, you will observe many small brown birds, which nestle close to one another in the bushes, and chirp very loudly. These are English sparrows, which were introduced into the Park about three years ago, and have so multiplied since that they have already done good service in destroying myriads of the noxious worms by which trees are infested in the early summer.

Charles Dawson Shanly.



“You will tell us to-day what you did with the bears,—won’t you, Captain Hardy?” inquired William.

“Well,” replied the Captain, laughing in his free-and-easy way, like a jolly old sailor as he was, taking his long pipe out of his mouth that he might do it all the better, “I think it was pretty near being what the bears did with us, my hearties! yes, that would be quite as near the mark, I’m thinking.”

“No matter, then,” said William,—“no matter, Captain Hardy; we ain’t particular, you see,—any way you like. I’ll put the question t’other way, you know,—what did the bears do with you?”

The Captain was in great good-humor to-day, and he kept on laughing till his pipe went out; and, while he laughed, he said, “Why, to be sure, they frightened us!”

“Tit for tat,” exclaimed William; “you frightened them,—that’s fair.”

“That’s so,” replied the Captain,—“that’s so, sure enough; only they wouldn’t stay frightened, while we did, you see.”

“What! did they find you out?”

“That they did, my lad, just as soon as they had finished the old narwhal. We were sound asleep when they came; and they soon woke us up with the great noise they made close to the hut.

“But stop a bit!” exclaimed the Captain, reflectively; “my story’s got ahead of me, or I’ve got ahead of the story,—one or the other; so I must go back a little.” And he paused, not with his finger to his nose this time, as usual, but to his forehead, as if feeling in his brain for the end of the “yarn,” as he always called the story.

At length the old man appeared to have quite satisfied himself about the matter, for he started off as fast as he could go. “I didn’t tell you anything about the fort we built, nor the time we had provisioning it,—did I?” said he.

“No,” answered William, “nothing about a fort.”

“Then there’s the broken end of the yarn at last. Well, it was a good long time before the bears finished the old narwhal; but, finding how much they were occupied in that quarter, we went to our storehouses, and brought all our stores away, and stowed them close to the mouth of the hut, thinking that, if they were discovered, we should be better able to protect them. First, however, we built up two solid snow-walls, about three feet apart, and as high as our heads, directly on a line with the entrance to our hut, so that when we went outside we walked right between them. Then, behind these walls, we piled all the birds, seal-flesh, and eggs that we had for food, and all the blubber (now frozen quite hard) that we had for fuel,—the former on the right-hand side (going out), and the latter on the left. Having done this, we covered the whole over with snow several feet deep; and, as a still further protection against our enemies the bears, we built up a great wall all around in front of the hut where there were no high rocks. Through this wall we left only one small hole to crawl through when we went out; and, when we came inside, we carefully closed it up with some large blocks of snow. But we did not go outside much, being afraid; and at lengthy when one of the bears was discovered prowling about very near the hut, we drew within our fortification, closed the opening in the wall as tightly as possible, and were prepared for a siege.

“At first we did not sleep much, being all the time fearful of attack; but gaining courage as we found, day after day, that the bears did not come to molest us, we at length fell asleep both together; and it was while we were thus asleep that the bears discovered us; and before either of us awoke they had actually scaled the wall of our snow-fort, and advanced to where our food and fuel were stowed, close to the mouth of the hut, and were tearing through the snow to get at it.

“We were much frightened,—or I might perhaps better say alarmed, as we felt quite secure ourselves, for the present, since the bears would not be likely to trouble us so long as there was anything else to eat; but then they might just as well eat us first, and the stores afterward, as to eat the stores first; for then we must surely starve and freeze, which would be quite as bad.

“We became now fully aroused to a sense of our unhappy condition, and, the first feeling of alarm having passed over, we began seriously to reflect upon what we should do; for something had to be done, and that very quickly.

“I looked out through the window, and there were the bears all crowded together in the narrow passage; and one of them had already got among the frozen ducks, which were tumbling out in the snow at his feet, and he had one in his mouth, crunching away at it in such a manner as to leave no doubt that he was either very hungry or was in a violent hurry,—growling all the while, with each crunch he gave, to keep away the other two bears. This bear was much the largest of the three; indeed, the smallest one was not larger than a Newfoundland dog,—not larger than Port or Starboard. Thus you see not only what a destructive, but what a selfish, beast he was.

“From alarm we now got to be angry, as we observed the liberties these bears were taking with our food, and the little ceremony they made of eating up, in this wholesale manner, that which had cost us so much hard labor, and upon which our very lives now depended. I seized ‘Old Crumply’ in very desperation, and asked the Dean if he would follow me. ‘What!’ exclaimed he, ‘you don’t mean to attack them?’ ‘That’s just what I am going to do,’ said I; ‘and, if you can do anything with “The Delight,” now’s your chance.’ ‘I’ll stand by you,’ said the Dean, grasping his weapon; ‘better to be killed outright by the bears than to let them starve us to death, and then perhaps kill us afterwards.’

“Desperate as was our condition, I could not help being amused by the Dean’s way of putting the matter,—‘first starved to death, and then killed’; and I think this little speech, turned in that happy though awkward way, did a great deal to stiffen up my courage.

“I crawled out through the door and passage-way of the hut (which I have told you was not high enough for us to stand upright in), and, upon coming near the end of it, there was the bear within three feet of me. His head was turned away, and his nose was all buried up in the snow; for he had swallowed his duck, and was getting a fresh one, so that he did not see me. My heart seemed to be in my mouth,—so close to the dreadful monster,—so ferocious and fearful did he appear as I looked up at him. Had I been alone, I think I should have retreated; but here was the Dean behind me, and I was ashamed to back out, having gone thus far. Summoning all my courage, therefore, I brought forward my spear, grasped it with both hands, and plunged it with all my force into the animal’s neck, just behind the lower jaw and below the ear.

“It was a fortunate stroke. I had evidently, by chance, cut some great blood-vessel, for the blood gushed from the wound in a regular stream. The bear dropped his duck very quickly, I can tell you. He was probably never so much astonished in all his life before. I had come upon him so stealthily, and he was so absorbed in what he was about, that he had never once suspected the presence of an enemy, but thought himself, no doubt, a very lucky bear to find such a dinner ready caught for him.

“But I caused him to sing another tune than to be constantly growling to frighten off the little bears, for he roared with terror, so that you might have heard him full half a mile; and, finding that he could not wheel around as quickly as he wanted to, he roared again, louder than before, which sounded so dreadful that I drew back into the hut quite instinctively, and thus lost the opportunity to give him another thrust, which I might very well have done, in the side. When he had got wheeled round, he rolled over the other two bears, and the three together, all roaring very loud, rolled against the snow-wall of our fort, and broke it down; and now, as soon as they could scramble to their legs again, they hurried away through the snow down into the valley,—the smallest one trying hard to keep up, and whining piteously all the while, as if he were afraid something would catch him; and now, just as we had done before, when we had, with our shouts, frightened the bears away when they had first come to disturb us, we ran after them, little thinking, in the excitement of the moment, of danger.

“We found that the bear I had wounded held straight down the valley, as was easily told by the red streak he left behind him on the snow. The other two turned to the right, and ran over in the direction of the old narwhal.

“Following the red streak, we came soon down to the beach; and then, climbing over the rough ice which the tide had piled up, we were quickly upon the frozen sea, hurrying on as fast as we could go. Indeed, no feeling of fear ever crossed our minds; for the great quantity of blood that the bear left behind him somehow or other went to convince us, without reflection even, that the bear must be dead, and that we should presently come upon him.

“While hurrying on at this rate, our spirits received a sudden check; for we did at length come upon the bear, sure enough. As soon as we saw him we forgot all our courageous resolutions immediately, and, wheeling about in great alarm, we ran back towards the hut.

“Finding, however, that we were not pursued, we turned about again; and, proceeding more cautiously this time, we came, in a little while, in sight of the bear again, very near where he was before; but now he was clearly by no means a formidable enemy; for he was going along very slowly, and making a crooked track, as if he was drunk. Directly he fell over; and, in a little while afterwards, we went up to him, and found him dead,—having bled to death from the wound I had given him.

“You may easily imagine how rejoiced we were; for now we had an enormous supply of food, and a fine bear-skin besides; so I lost no time in unlashing the knife-blade from the end of ‘Old Crumply,’ and with this we began to butcher him. It was a very cold and tedious operation; but we got through with it at last, and then, burying all of the flesh in the snow except a small piece that we wanted for supper, we returned to the hut, dragging the skin after us, the Dean whistling, all the way, ‘Bonaparte crossing the Alps,’ which he had picked up, as he told me, from a Frenchman in Havana.

“While we were coming up the valley towards the hut, in this lively state of mind, the Dean stopped suddenly, and said: ‘Suppose, Hardy, the other two bears have taken a notion to come back’; and he was right; for we came presently in sight of one of them, very near the hut, and making directly for it. As soon as he saw us, however, he ran away. So we took a good laugh at his expense, and, thinking the other one must be near him, though not in sight, we proceeded on our way. Fortunately, however, before seeing the bear, we halted long enough to secure the knife-blade again on the end of ‘Old Crumply’; and it was well that I did this, for, when we arrived at the broken wall where the bears had made their way out, much to our surprise, we came right upon the other bear, close up to the mouth of the hut, busy swallowing a duck. This was the smallest of the three bears, and he could not have been more than a year or so old. No sooner did he hear us than he, like the other one, became alarmed; but, seeing that the road by which he had entered was blocked up, he did not try to escape in that way, nor did he appear to have the least idea that he had only to charge upon us to see how quickly he would clear the passage; for, instead of doing this, he rushed forward, and darted into our hut, no doubt thinking that would lead to a place of safety.

“I do not exactly know by what motive I was impelled, but I suppose the same that governed me on several other occasions; that is, a general one belonging to almost all human beings, and, indeed, to most animals,—to chase whatever runs away, and to run away from whatever chases. At any rate, I rushed up to the doorway of the hut, I believe without any idea at all in my head, and without giving much thought about it, and had like to have got into a great scrape; for the bear, having found that the hut gave him no chance of escape, had turned about, and was coming out again. I was wholly unprepared for him, so hasty had I been. I could not run, and therefore, quite mechanically, I hit him in the face with the sharp point of ‘Old Crumply,’ which sent him back into the hut again, and made him roar in a dreadful manner, as if he were half killed. I knew I must have hit him on some tender spot,—the eye, it proved to be afterwards, so he was half blind as well as half dead.

“It was very unfortunate that I had not let him go, or killed him outright; for we could now hear him tearing everything to pieces in our hut, trying to find a place of escape. The wall between our sleeping-place and our closet was first knocked over, as he scrambled about; and there was no doubt that our pots and lamps were all broken to pieces. It was like a great roaring bull in a china shop, and we wished many times that he was only out and off; and, if he had only known our minds upon the subject, a compromise would have been speedily made, and the bear might have gone scot-free on condition of his doing no further mischief.

“The bear was not long in discovering the window. Now, the window being very small, it was evident that, if he attempted it, he would do us a great damage, for he could only pass through by knocking down some part of the wall. No sooner, therefore, had his head appeared in that quarter, than the Dean charged him most gallantly with the ‘Delight,’ and gave him such a tremendous blow on the nose that he was glad enough to draw his head in again, which he did with a piteous cry. Then he became quiet for a while, as if meditating upon what course it was best for him now to pursue.

“Availing myself of this little pause, I exchanged weapons with the Dean, and, fixing the harpoon head on the end of the ‘Delight,’ I tied the other end of the line which was fast to it around a large stone which lay across the entrance to the hut. This I did because I thought that there might be a possible chance of catching the bear; and that, if we could only induce him to run out, I might harpoon him as he passed, and the stone would hold him fast until we could find some way of despatching him.

“No sooner had these preparations been made than the bear was again in motion; and now he gave a roar that seemed loud enough to have rattled the whole hut down about his ears. This time he had clearly tried the chimney, and had not only scattered the burning moss and fat all about the hut, but had set himself on fire into the bargain; for a great volume of smoke came out through the window, which smelled of burning hair.

“The screams of the bear were now pitiful to hear, and in very desperation he once more tried the window, when the Dean quickly gave him a crack with ‘Old Crumply,’ which sent him back again. Grown now utterly reckless, he bolted right through the door. I was ready for him, standing on the top of the passage-way and on the stone to which the harpoon line was made fast. As the bear came under me, I let drive with the harpoon, and stuck him in the back. And then away he dashed like a fiery demon, plunging through the snow, smoking and blazing all over. He had evidently rolled all about in our burning fat and moss, as bits of burning moss were sticking to him, setting his hair all on fire, and no doubt scorching his skin to a degree that must have made a dive into the snow very comfortable indeed. As soon as he had run out all the line, the stone under my feet, instead of holding fast, gave way, pitching me after the bear, and turning me quite upside down. I landed head-foremost in a snow-bank. The burning bear went rushing and roaring away, dragging the big stone after him; but not far, however, for he fell over and died directly, no doubt partly from fright, but chiefly perhaps from his wounds and his severe burns.

“Having got rid of the bear, we gave him no further thought for the present, but rushed into the hut to see what mischief had been done there. The smoke was at first so thick that we were almost smothered by it. Our cloth coats and part of our fur bedding were all mixed up with the burning moss upon the floor, and were being rapidly destroyed. As we had feared, the pots and lamps were all broken; and, in short, the inside of the hut was in a very sorry state.

“It was a long time before we fully repaired all the damage the bear had done, and we suffered much inconvenience and discomfort before we replaced our pots, cups, and lamps. When we had, however, at last done all this, we were not sorry that the bears had come to disturb us, but on the other hand were rather rejoiced; for we were now in all respects just as comfortable as ever, and had besides a great warm bear-skin to sleep on, and one more variety of food added to our list, and that, too, in such large quantity that there was no fear of our coming to want very soon.”

Seeing that the “Ancient Mariner,” showed symptoms of breaking off at this stage of the story, Fred spoke up, and wanted to know more about the bear that had set fire to himself.

“O, it don’t much matter about him,” replied the Captain. “When we had looked after the hut, and had got the fire put out, and found leisure then to go after the bear, he was dead enough, as I said before; but much of the hair was singed off him as nicely almost, in some places, as if he had been shaved, so that the skin was of little use to us, and we only used the flesh, which we soon grew very fond of; for this bear, as I have said before, was a young one, and his flesh was tender.”

“What became of the other bear?” asked William, curious to reach the end of the bear story.

“We never saw anything more of him, nor heard anything more of him either,” answered the Captain; “and indeed we were never troubled any more with bears at all in that way, but thereafter lived in peace.”

Isaac I. Hayes.


What do the birds do out in the shower,

When the sun has been in for more than an hour;

When roses are scattered, and drops of rain

Break into tunes on the window-pane?


When all the world looks cold and wan,

Just as it does before the dawn;

And the water, soaking through fragrant grasses,

Fills the sparrow’s nest as it passes?


How can the redstart find his berries,

Or the redbreast look up the black-heart cherries?

How can the wee wren keep her brood

Safe and sheltered and served with food?


Out in such pitiless, pelting weather,

Drenched and dripping from each pin-feather,

Surely they’d all get wet to the skin

If some kind friend didn’t call them in.


Down in the hedge there’s the merry chaffinch,

But her nest is full, you know, every inch;

And the purple-martins that built in the basket

Wouldn’t take a fellow in, if you ask it.


The humming-bird’s such a sprightly elf

He can very well take care of himself;

He might run between the drops, I should think,

Or only stop long enough to drink.


I heard a black-cap whistle a tune

Which seemed to say, “It will clear away soon!”

But the little jays pipe on together,

Quite as if it were sunshiny weather.


O, if the rainbow would grow and grow,

And the drops fall ever and ever so slow,

Each tiny warbler, be it thrush or wren,

Would chirrup for just such a shower again!

Mary N. Prescott.


Winter came and went, and spring winds began to blow on the little gray house under the bluff. Jimmy and Nathan, in their great-coats and mittens, had gone about very much as usual; but Mrs. Ben, fearing croup or cold for Polly, kept her close by her side. Sometimes, after snow and sleet, came a soft, mild day, and then Polly, wrapped to the eyes, ran up and down the beach like a wild child, or climbed the bluff, and made a call on Jack; but for the most part she played in the wood-house chamber, or followed her mother about her daily work. There were long evenings, when, holding Seraphina or Matilda Ann, she listened to Jimmy, who was a very good reader for a boy of his age, and who went through their few books over and over again.

Captain Ben came home in January, and then there were good times for all of them; for, declaring that this time he meant to get acquainted with all his children, and defying the wind and cold, Polly’s father took her with them just as if she’d been a boy, Nathan said; and there were one or two excursions to Shrewsbury, one of which resulted in a blue and white tea-set, which I do believe Polly has to this day. Jimmy was missing mysteriously for full half a day, and appeared, about tea-time, bearing a round something, which proved to be a table made from a barrel top, with four lath legs. To be sure it was a little shaky, and finally had to have another board nailed to the bottom to keep it quite steady; but Polly received it with delight, and spent two days in hemming a table-cloth, which, when washed and ironed, was just the same as mother’s big ones.

After this, Seraphina gave so many tea-parties that Mrs. Ben said father’d have to lay in an extra barrel of molasses, for Polly kept her baking gingerbread the whole time. It also happened that Jimmy and Nathan discovered a new charm in Polly’s society, and might be seen, almost any day of the week, sitting side by side with Matilda Ann and Seraphina, and Keziah and Jemima, the two rag dolls, whose plates were always empty, no matter how often Polly filled them.

“It’s a mean shame that you don’t let the gingerbread stay on Keziah’s plate a minute,” said Polly one day, quite tired of cutting it up into nice little squares only to see it disappear in the boys’ mouths. “Keziah’s the patientest doll, and so’s Jemima, but they can’t stand everything.”

“Well, they ought to be patient,” said Nathan, “when they were named for Job’s daughters. I wouldn’t have dolls with such names.”

“Yours wouldn’t have any names at all, ’cause boys don’t ever have dolls,—so now!” answered Polly.

“Well,” said Jimmy, finishing the very last mouthful of gingerbread, and running over to his own side of the wood-house chamber; “I don’t care what their names are, so long as they keep giving tea-parties; and some o’ these days maybe I’ll make a bench for all four o’ them to sit on when you play going to meetin’.”

Polly cut her gingerbread squares larger after this; but the days went on, and no bench appeared, until at last came May, and the grand moving time to the rock house. Not the first of May, for I doubt if the children knew that was the day when all New York was turned out of doors, but the middle of May, when green grass grew to the very edge of the bluffs, and blue violets blossomed under the cedar-trees. Polly had made flying visits to the place every day for a month past; and at last, one fair, bright Saturday afternoon, with Jack to help, she began the work. Polly packed up, and sent bundle after bundle by Nathan, who seemed in such a hurry he could hardly wait for them.

“Why don’t Jack and Jimmy come and help?” said she.

“O, I guess they’re busy,” answered Nathan; and she went on, till at last there remained only Seraphina to be carried down. Polly walked slowly along, hugging the dolly, and lifting her face to the soft spring wind, till she reached the rock house.

“Why—but”—said she, and then stood still in astonishment.

The house was formed, as I have told you before, by one great rock shelving over and meeting another rock. Sheltered as it was, still through the chinks in rainy days rain would fall; and the rag dolls, who had not so safe a corner as the other two, were very often so wet through that Polly had to lay them in the sun on the tip-top of the rock, and play they had dreadful colds, till they were dry again. Now Jimmy stood up there with a trowel in his hand, and a great lump of something by his side, while Jack was taking red, yellow, and white pebbles from a wheelbarrow, and making a bright pebble mosaic under the shelf where their curiosities were kept. Every particle of sea-weed lodged through the winter had been cleared away; over the open space fresh white sand from the Point was spread; and in the dolls’ corner there stood a new bench, just the right size for them, and actually painted green.

“O you sweet, dear boys!” squealed Polly, when she found words; “how you are fixing things! What is Jimmy doing?”

“Stopping up everything, so’t we won’t get wet once this summer,” answered Jimmy, from above. “I guess those Lanes won’t have a better place than this to play in, up to Squire Green’s or anywhere else.”

Polly scrambled up to him, and stood looking on with delight. Every crevice he had filled with mortar, and over all laid a thick covering of sea-weed.

“It’ll blow away pretty soon,” said he; “but by that time the mortar’ll be hard as the rock, and ’twon’t make any matter whether it’s covered or not.”

“I love you,” said Polly; “I’ll hem all your sails this summer.”

“Will you?” answered Jimmy, delighted; “will you do one to-day?”

Polly’s face fell. Jimmy was always making boats, big and little, and the sails were legion that she had already hemmed.

“Won’t one o’ the old ones do?” said she.

“No, it won’t,” said Jimmy; “ ’cause it’s a brig I’m riggin’ now, and the other sails are all for schooners and sloops. You needn’t do it, though; I thought you didn’t mean it.”

“Well, I didn’t, just exactly,” said Polly; “but I always keep my promises, Jimmy, and I’m a going to now.”

Jimmy pulled a little bundle from his pocket. “There’s three,” said he; “but you needn’t do but one to-day.”

Polly’s face was very long as she scrambled down to the ground, not half so fast as she had scrambled up, and sat down on a stone, half in and half out of the rock house. Thimble and all were in her pocket, for mother had made her a little housewife; and poor Polly looked wistfully over to the dolls’ corner, as she threaded her needle, and began on the dingy little bit of cloth. It was small, and long stitches were just the thing for a sail; so that, after all, not so very much time was lost. Jack, too, was telling Nathan a long story about a devil-fish, which had taken in a wild goose at one mouthful; and as Polly finished the last stitch, and Jimmy jumped down to her, she wondered that she had finished so soon.

“You’re a first-rate gal,” said Jimmy, “and I sha’n’t ask you to do another for a good while. You look up the path now, and see what you can see.”

“Why, it’s Lotty and Harry Lane,” said Polly. “I thought they weren’t coming till June, and it’s only May now.”

Harry came running down as if he were very glad to get there, and now Paul appeared behind Lotty,—looking just as ugly as ever, Polly said to herself.

“You didn’t think we were coming so soon,—did you, Polly?” asked Lotty. “We wouldn’t, only father has gone to Europe for something, and mother didn’t want to stay in New York all alone. We’re going to be here all the time now till father comes back; and just see what I’ve brought you!”

Out of a long wooden box came, after much unfolding of papers, four little chairs, a sofa, and a table, a little cradle with a wee doll in it, and a looking-glass in a gilded frame.

“Gracious goodness me!” said Polly, who could think of no other words which half expressed her feelings; and then she lifted the tiny furniture tenderly, and carried it over to the dolls’ corner.

“Has the baby doll got any name?” said she.

“Not yet,” answered Lotty.

“Well, then,” said Polly, putting the cradle by the side of the big doll’s bed, “I’m going to call her Lotty.”

“Are you?” said Lotty; “but then we won’t know which is which, ’cause I’m going to play with you ’most all the time, you know.”

“Then I’ll call her Lotty Amanda,” said Polly; “that’s a beautiful name.”

In the mean time, Paul and Harry had been looking at the new arrangements in the rock house.

“Isn’t it splendid?” said Harry; “won’t we have good times down here?”

“We might, if there was anybody worth while to play with,” said Paul. “I wish some of the boys that go to my school were going to come down here.”

“If they’re all as sweet and amiable as you be, what a treat we’d have!” said Jimmy. “I tell you what, if you can’t come down here without sassing us the whole time, you might just as well stay away.”

“I guess I will, then, you horrid boy!” said Paul, turning and running up the path.

“There, now, we’ve got to go home too,” said Harry, “ ’cause mother told us to all stay together. O dear!”

“Never mind,” said Jack; “I’m going along, for there’s lots o’ chores to do at the barn. I’ve got something up there to show you.”

Polly said good by, and raced to the house to show everything to mother, while Jack walked on with Lotty and Harry. Grandpa Green was in the barn when they reached it, holding a covered basket in his hand.

“What you got, grandpa?” all said together; and for answer the basket-lid was lifted a moment, and the children, peeping in, saw two white pigeons.

“Why,” said Lotty, “you’ve got lots o’ doves, grandpa; what made you get any more?”

“Come up to the pigeon-house, and you’ll see,” answered grandpa; and Paul ran up the ladder, and opened the little door leading to the line of boxes. Grandpa set the basket inside, took off the lid, and the pretty creatures, lifting their heads, and hearing a cooing from the nests where the mother-doves were sitting, hopped first to the edge of the basket, and then to the floor, picked up a grain or two of corn, and, suddenly, with a little rustling sound, spread out their two white tails into perfect fans, and walked up and down as if they knew how much they were being admired.

“There,” said grandpa,—“two, you see. One for you, Paul, and one for you, Harry; and, when the little ones are hatched, you are to give one to Lotty, and after that sell them, or anything you please.”

“Will anybody buy them?” asked Paul.

“O yes,” said grandpa; “I had some trouble in getting this pair, and the man of whom I bought them will take all you raise, and be glad to get them. Feed them yourself every day, and they will soon know you.”

Jack handed up an ear of corn, and Lotty shelled some kernels, and threw them down.

“Was this what you meant? Jack?” said she.

“No,” said Jack; “I didn’t know about this. There’s only one o’ mine, and it’s all for you.”

“Couldn’t I give part of it to Harry?” said Lotty.

“Not easy, I guess,” said Jack, smiling a little; “you might, though, but it wouldn’t be very good for it. Come and see.”

Lotty followed to the other side of the barn, unnoticed by Harry or Paul, who were busy with the pigeons. As they climbed up the piled-up hay, a faint little sound came to them.

“I guess that’s a chickabiddy that’s lost its way,” said Lotty.

“I guess ’tisn’t,” Jack answered, suddenly turning over a truss of hay, and showing an old basket; “you just look in there!”

“Oh!” screamed Lotty, seeing two little white feet, clinging to the edge of the basket. “Such a kitten! How did you know I wanted a kitten, Jack? O you darling beauty, come right here!”

The darling beauty had retreated to the bottom of the basket, and mewed sadly as Lotty picked her up.

“She wants her mother; hasn’t she got any mother?” asked Lotty.

“Yes,” said Jack, “but she’s gone fishing.”

“Gone fishing?” echoed Lotty in amazement. “I never heard of a cat doing such a thing.”

“This cat does,” said Jack; “she’ll sit on the Point watching those little fish that come in close to shore, and all at once she’ll give a dab with her paw, and fetch in one or maybe two of ’em, and then she crunches ’em up, bones and all, and has a good time; she’ll be bringing ’em home to this kitty, soon as it’s big enough.”

“I should think raw fish would be awful,” said Lotty; “this kitty sha’n’t ever eat ’em. Can’t I take her into the house, Jack?”

“Guess not,” Jack answered; “she’s too little, and her mother wouldn’t let her stay.”

“I’m going to be her mother,” said Lotty, “and she’ll have to mind me. I’ll take her in just a little minute, anyway.”

So Lotty picked up kitty, and tugged over the hay and down the ladder. Up on the other side, as she went out, she saw the whisking of a black tail, and, thinking kitty’s mother was close by, ran on to the house. Paul and Harry were in the dining-room, telling grandma about the pigeons, and both were delighted with the little soft thing. Lotty sat down on a footstool, and all three began to stroke and pat the wee pussy, which didn’t seem to like it at all, when suddenly there entered a small black cat, hardly bigger than a kitten herself, that, walking very quietly and deliberately up to Lotty, jumped into her lap, took kitty in her mouth, and as quietly walked out and toward the barn with it.

“Oh!” cried Lotty, looking after her in dismay, “she’ll kill my kitten, and I won’t ever have another; somebody make her let go!”

“That’s all right,” said grandpa; “it doesn’t hurt your kitty to be carried so, for that is the way they were meant to be lifted.”

“It would hurt me,” said Lotty, still sceptical.

“Because you haven’t any thick soft folds of skin at the back of your neck,” answered grandpa. “Take hold of kitty in the same way, the next time you have her, and you will see that she doesn’t object at all.”

Lotty, half satisfied, adjourned to the kitchen, whence came a most delicious smell of hot gingerbread, followed immediately by Harry; and both children were presently discovered by mamma, on their way to the swing, in possession of more cookies than it seemed possible they could eat.

So the days went by. There were visits innumerable to the rock house, and Lotty and Harry were beginning to know almost as much about ’long shore as Polly Ben; while she, in turn, had gained a great many ideas of city life, which on the whole did not seem to her very desirable. Kitty grew apace, and was now quite beyond carrying; while the mother pussy, grown familiar with the children, spent all the time she could conveniently spare from her fishing lying in Lotty’s lap, or helping pussy junior chase the cork fastened to a string, which hung at such a desirable height from the floor that the soberest-minded cat could not have resisted it. The fantails had driven the old proprietors out of the very best box in the pigeon-house; two round eggs had been laid; and in due time came two little fantails, which grew rapidly, and were soon large enough to leave the nest.

One morning the Ben children had come up to the Squire’s to spend part of the day. The boys retired to the barn, where Jack had under way a schooner, which by and by was to be launched in honor of Harry’s birthday; while Lotty, to whom Polly had brought a little tin cup full of lovely yellow and white snail shells, went up with her to a small room in the attic, which grandma had said should be her own rainy-day room so long as she stayed there. In it were a low table and two chairs, and on a shelf in one corner a glue-pot and a cup of paste, with all sorts of little boxes, and a great pile of Illustrated London News, with an enormous scrap-book, into which the prettiest pictures were pasted, when cut out. On the table was a lump of fresh putty with which grandpa had mixed a little vermilion to tint it; and in a box were small shells, some gathered ’long shore, and others contributed by grandma from the great cabinet which stood in the parlor. Lotty was to take her first lesson in shell-work to-day; and, finally deciding upon two large pill-boxes as in every respect desirable, the two children sat down side by side, and Polly, putting a coat of putty on her box-lid, showed Lotty how to stick the little shells in firmly.

“I’ll make a teenty white star on mine,” said she, “and fill up the top with the yellow shells; and you make a yellow star, so’s not to have ’em both alike; and I’ll give mine to Seraphina when it’s done, to keep her best pocket-handkerchief in.”

“My doll hasn’t got but one pocket-handkerchief,” said Lotty, “so she has to carry it all the time, except when it’s being washed, and then I get her the whitest rag I can find.”

“Why don’t you hem her another?” said Polly.

“ ’Cause I hate to sew,” answered Lotty; “but I’m hemming a great big handkerchief for father when he comes home, and I do a little on it every day.”

“What’s the matter with the doves?” said Polly, looking up; “they’re flying all round.”

Lotty ran to the window. Loud voices were heard from the barn; and in a moment Paul ran out with a long stick in his hand, chasing after the black cat, which ran before him, and, jumping on the fence, was over and out of sight in an instant. Lotty and Polly flew down the stairs and out to the barn. Paul came back red with anger as they went in, while the other boys stood in the corner bending over something.

“See there, what your cat has done!” cried Paul. “I’ll kill her, if I catch her, and her kitten too.”

Jack stepped aside, and Lotty saw one of the little fantails lying on the floor, with broken wing and poor bloody head.

“My cat couldn’t have done such a dreadful thing,” said Lotty, beginning to cry. “She wouldn’t kill a dove.”

“She would then,” said Paul. “Somebody left the door of the pigeon-house open, and she went in, and picked out the nicest one she could. I’ll pay her for it. I’ll pay Jack for leaving the door open too. He did it on purpose, I’ll bet.”

“What’s all this?” said Grandpa Green from the barn-door. “What’s the matter, Paul?”

“That mean cat has killed the prettiest fantail,” said Paul; “and, if Jack hadn’t left the door open, she couldn’t have got in.”

“Come now,” said Jack, “you know you were up there not an hour before she did it. If anybody left the door open, it was you; for we’ve all been down here, every one of us.”

Paul’s eyes fell a little.

“I don’t care,” said he; “I’ll kill that cat.”

“No, sir,” said grandpa. “If you were careless enough to leave the door open, it is right you should suffer somewhat, though I’m sorry for the poor pigeon. Let it make you more careful another time, and never again be mean enough to charge another with what you know you did yourself. Now which of you wants a ride? I’m going to Shrewsbury.”

“I wish you’d take me and Nathan,” said Harry.

“Well, come along,” said grandpa; and Lotty and Polly went back sadly to their work.

“Pussy’ll come back, and eat up the fantail,” said Lotty, after a time.

“She might,” Polly said. “Let’s put it in a hole, and cover it up, and then she can’t.”

“Well,” said Lotty; “come now, then”; and the two children went to the barn again. Paul had thought of this, however; and the little fantail had been put under the great gooseberry-bush, while he sat in the barn-door, awaiting pussy’s return.

“I’ll give that cat a licking anyhow,” said he, “and maybe she’ll know better another time.”

“Let’s get her and hide her,” said Polly, in a whisper.

So the two children walked on to the garden, and from there down to the meadow, and then up the other side of the fence. Sure enough, pussy was there in hiding, and, on the whole, glad to see them. Lotty covered her up in her apron, went on to the house, and, carrying her in at the front door, and up stairs, shut her into the attic room just as Paul came into the house. Pussy, however, not liking solitary confinement, jumped from the window to the boughs of a great chestnut-tree close by; and from there to reach the ground and the back of the barn was a very quick piece of work. Paul, having no idea she could get in without being seen by him, continued his watch till dinner-time, when, softening under the influence of custard pie, he decided to drop the matter, for the present at any rate.

The last Saturday in June came, and all the children were assembled in a corner of the barn-yard, where Jack, in order to give the last mysterious touches to the little schooner, had built a small fire, and was heating over it some tar in an iron pot. It was Harry’s birthday, and, in consequence, a holiday for Jack; and, just as soon as the boat was finished, they were going to the launching-place, which you know all about, if you have read “In The Cove.” Grandma had baked a cake with Harry on it in sugar letters, and a grand tea-party was to be given at the rock house after the launch. The children didn’t know it, but Mrs. Lane had sent down a great basket of strawberries, and Mrs. Ben had been commissioned to set a table with biscuit and butter and cold tongue,—the cake for a centre-piece, flanked by cookies and gingerbread, and just as many strawberries as they could eat. Lotty and Polly sat under a little shed, on a pile of salt hay, kept there for the cattle to nibble at; and the boys moved about the fire, feeding it with chips, or dipping wisps of hay into the tar and setting them on fire.

Suddenly from the pigeon-house came the cry of the mother-birds, and then the whir of wings as they flew excitedly about. Paul sprang to the barn, and up the ladder. The door was open; but this time not the black cat had done the mischief. Lotty’s gray kitty it was who held in her mouth fantail number two, not dead yet, and uttering plaintive cries. Paul seized the kitten, threw the pigeon back to the nest, and, beside himself with passion, flew down the ladder and out to the yard.

“I’ll singe her,” said he; and, before anybody could know what he meant to do, he had dipped the kitten in the tar-pot, and touched it to the still smouldering fire. In an instant it caught, and the poor cat, with a dreadful cry, ran wildly over the yard to the salt hay, trying to find a hiding-place there. Dry as powder from the hot June sun, it blazed up, before the kitten, mad with pain, could rush from it through the fence and far down the field. Jack with one bound reached the pile, and threw the children from it, while with the pitchfork lying there he tossed the hay, fast as he could, into the meadow, up which Grandpa Green came running, followed by Mike the man, passing the kitten still writhing on the ground. The little shed was in a light blaze now, which mounted up toward the barn. In a moment grandpa had out the hose, kept always ready for fire, fastened it to the barn-yard pump, and sent a stream of water on the stack.

“Tear the boards off that fence, boys,” he cried, “or everything will go.”

Jack sprang to it, followed by Jimmy. The fence was old, and the boards came off easily; so that, by the time an open space had been made, the fire, with little to feed it, was almost drowned out, and the four workers stopped to take breath. The shed had gone, and the end of the barn was blackened and scorched by the quick, sudden heat. Paul had stood pale and terrified, while Lotty and Polly ran screaming to the house, bringing every one in it out at once; and when grandpa dropped the pump-handle, and stood wiping his forehead, all began to ask questions together.

“Not a word now,” said he, and walked into the house with such a sad, troubled face, that grandma knew something more than the burning of the shed must be the matter. Lotty and Polly were still crying too hard to explain anything, and Paul had rushed up to his own room, and locked the door, while the other boys stood blankly, and looked at each other, as if they could hardly realize what half an hour had done.

Presently Grandpa Green looked up.

“Where is Paul?” said he. “I want him to come to me.”

Mrs. Lane went to his door.

“Your grandfather wants you, Paul,” said she.

There was silence for a moment, and then Paul appeared, looking half miserable, half defiant, and went slowly down the stairs, not even glancing at his mother, who followed him. Grandpa Green was in the great chair in which he always sat when people came to him to make complaints; and as Paul entered the room, and walked toward him, he looked so steadily and gravely at him, that the defiant air passed away from the boy’s face, and he turned pale and red alternately.

“Tell your own story,” said grandpa, as the children crept in, and stood about the room,—“tell your own story, Paul; and, if it has any best side, let me know it.”

Paul began, broke down, began afresh, then burst into tears; and, throwing himself into a chair by the table, hid his face on it, and sobbed aloud.

“Did he set the stack on fire?” said Mrs. Lane.

“He did worse than that, Charlotte,” said grandpa. “He set that kitten of Lotty’s on fire, and the miserable little animal is dead or dying down in the field. Jimmy, tell, since Paul cannot, how it happened.”

Jimmy began hesitatingly, “I don’t believe he meant to,” when Paul sprang up.

“I did mean to,” said he. “I meant to burn it a little, just to teach it never to kill my birds again; but I never thought how it would hurt; I never meant to kill it.”

“Never thought, never meant,” said grandpa. “I don’t suppose you did. A man doesn’t think, and doesn’t mean, when he murders; and, if passion makes you kill a kitten when you are twelve, you may kill a man at twenty. Now go to your room. This is a matter your mother must settle with you. I have nothing more to do with it.”

Paul went out and up stairs; and Lotty ran to her mother, and put her head down in her lap.

“My little kitty,” she sobbed; “my dear little kitty all burned and dead! O mother, mother!”

There was no comfort for her, and tears came to every one’s eyes when they saw her grief. Nathan and Polly and Jimmy walked sadly home, and, after a time, Mrs. Lane went up to Paul’s room. She was there a long while, and what passed the children never knew. Paul did not come down till evening; then he came and told Lotty and Harry how sorry he was, and that he meant now to try, hard as he could, never again to be so passionate. Lotty forgave him at once, and then Paul went out to the porch where grandpa was sitting alone, and by and by Mrs. Lane joined them. When the nine-o’clock bell rang, and all went in to prayers, he held his grandfather’s hand, and when grandma afterward asked if he were to be punished, “No more than he is now,” answered grandpa. “To-day’s work has brought its own punishment; but I shall be glad of it all, if, as I hope and think, Paul is made by it a better boy.”

There was a little constraint when the children all came together again; but, when they saw how mild and quiet Paul was, not one would have said a word to hurt him. The launch was put off now till the Fourth of July, and when that day came there was a gala time, for Captain Ben was at home, and not only fired his gun thirteen times when the little schooner Union slid down to the water, but insisted on presiding at the table afterward, where he made wonderful mistakes in pouring tea, and brought out unexpectedly such an enormous package of candy that the children hardly knew what to do with it. Lotty and Polly put theirs into the shell boxes, and forgot it; whence it resulted, that, on its discovery some days later, it was too highly flavored with putty to be agreeable, and consequently did duty at all Seraphina’s tea-parties for weeks afterward. The poor little kitty Jack had found, and buried under the gooseberry-bush by the first fantail. As to the other fantail, it got well at once, though one leg was always a little shorter than the other; and, for all I know, it may even now be hobbling about Squire Green’s barn-yard.

Helen C. Weeks.


Over my shaded doorway

  Two little brown-winged birds

Have chosen to fashion their dwelling,

  And utter their loving words;

All day they are going and coming

  On errands frequent and fleet,

And warbling over and over,

  “Sweetest, sweet, sweet, O sweet!”


Their necks are changeful and shining,

  Their eyes are like living gems;

And all day long they are busy

  Gathering straws and stems,

Lint, and feathers, and grasses,

  And half forgetting to eat,

Yet never failing to warble,

  “Sweetest, sweet, sweet, O sweet!”


I scatter crumbs on the door-step,

  And fling them some flossy threads;

They fearlessly gather my bounty,

  And turn up their graceful heads,

And chatter and dance and flutter,

  And scrape with their tiny feet,

Telling me over and over,

  “Sweetest, sweet, sweet, O sweet!”


What if the sky is clouded?

  What if the rain comes down?

They are all dressed to meet it

  In water-proof suits of brown.

They never mope nor languish,

  Nor murmur at storm or heat,

But say, whatever the weather,

  “Sweetest, sweet, sweet, O sweet!”


Always merry and busy,

  Dear little brown-winged birds!

Teach me the happy magic

  Hidden in those soft words,

Which always in shine or shadow

  So lovingly you repeat

Over and over and over,

  “Sweetest, sweet, sweet, O sweet!”

Florence Percy.


In my last “Lesson” I explained some of the mysteries of card manipulations, and in this I propose to describe a new and easy method of making money. Don’t be alarmed; I am not going to initiate you into the art and mystery of forging, or write an essay on “Counterfeiting made Easy”; I am merely going to teach an elegant trick, which has lately been “performed with the greatest success in all the principal cities of the Union,” as the show-bill says.

For this trick it is necessary to have a hat, which is used as a bank of deposit for the money which is everywhere found; this hat is borrowed from one of the audience, and is entirely without preparation.

Having procured the hat, the performer returns to his stage, and commences his search for the precious metal, which is soon to be showering down on him. The music commences “piano, pianissimo”; the audience are hushed, silence reigns supreme; the performer strikes an attitude, clutches wildly at the air, and lo! he has in his hand one of the curiosities of the age, a silver half-dollar. He holds it up for a second, showing it to the audience in a most aggravating way, and then, with a look that says plainly, “Don’t-you-wish-you-might-get-it?” tosses it into his hat. The music continues; the performer approaches the leader of the orchestra, and from the top of his bald and shiny old head picks up a second “half,” which he throws into the hat to keep company with the first. He now goes to work in earnest, and picks up money everywhere. Whatever he touches literally turns to gold,—or, what is about the same, silver,—until at last he is exhausted, and wiping the perspiration from his brow,—from which, by the by, several pieces of silver fall the moment his hand touches it,—he stops the work, and turns out the proceeds from the hat to a plate, which it nearly fills.

There are several ways of doing this trick, but the one I will explain is that practised by Bosco, the best sleight-of-hand performer in the world, and the originator of the trick.

Get twenty or more pieces of money about the size of a half-dollar. Put one in the right hand, and the balance in the left. Take your “wand”—or a glove will do, as the object is to have an excuse for keeping the hand closed—in your right hand, and you are ready for the trick. As you walk towards the audience, request that some one will loan you a hat. As it is offered, take it in your right hand, and, immediately passing it to the left, place that hand—which is filled with money—inside, the thumb only coming outside the rim. Now extend your arms and beg the audience to feel them, and convince themselves there is nothing there concealed. The right hand is apparently holding the “wand” (or glove), and the left the hat; and these they will not think of examining. Having satisfied them that you are not in any way deceiving them, you walk back to the stage. As you do this, you throw your “wand” (or glove) away, under pretence of getting rid of it, and at the same time drop the coin which you have in your right hand into your sleeve. When about to commence the trick, you take a position with your right side to the audience, the hat being in your left hand.

Open your right hand, and show the audience that it is empty. Make one or two clutches in the air, and each time, after doing so, look eagerly into your hand, as though expecting to find something there. Nothing appears, however; and at last you strike your brow in a despairing way, and afterwards let your hand fall by your side. At this movement, the piece of money which is in your sleeve will fall into your hand; you immediately “palm” it, and again—this time as if in desperation—you clutch at the air. You now let the piece fall to the tips of your fingers, and hold it up for the audience to see, and they will imagine that you have but that moment caught it. Let them look at it a second, and then make a movement as if throwing it into the hat, but, instead of doing so, you “palm” it, and let one of the pieces which are in your left hand drop into the hat. The audience, hearing the money fall, will imagine that you really threw the piece in from your right hand.

In this way you continue catching money, “palming” it, and dropping from your left hand, until there remain in that hand but about five of the nineteen pieces which it contained.

By this time some of the “ ’cute” ones in your audience may have begun to suspect that you have been “palming” a single piece, and, in order to quiet any such suspicion, you have recourse to the following ruse. Instead of pretending to throw the piece into the hat, you actually do so, and in such a way that all can see it. You now show your right hand to the audience, shake your sleeve, and convince them in every possible way that there is nothing concealed either in or about that hand; whilst you are doing this, you work the remaining four or five pieces that are in your left hand between the third and little fingers of that hand, and bring those fingers outside of and under the rim of the hat. The audience being assured that your right hand is empty, pass the hat to that hand, and at the same time take with it, from the left hand, the remaining pieces of money. Hold up your left hand now, that they may see that it, too, is empty; pass back the hat, but retain the money in your right hand. Let one of the pieces fall to your finger-ends, and toss it visibly into the hat. Continue in this way until all the pieces are thrown in, and then turn out the money, with considerable shaking and jingling, from the hat to a plate.

Although pure sleight of hand, this trick is equal to any, mechanical or otherwise, that is exhibited.

I have never, however, seen but one magician in this country who really knew how to do it; most of them not allowing their sleeves to be examined, none of them practising the ruse which I have described of changing the hat and with it the money from one hand to the other. Some few bunglers, whom I have seen attempt it, do not “catch” anything, but, after clutching at the air, close their right hand as if it held something, and then, placing it over the hat, open it, and let a piece drop from their left hand. Stupid as this method may seem, I have known a “first-class magician” to practise it.

In order to be really effective, this trick, and in fact any one, requires considerable acting.

How to make a Person draw Long or Short in Drawing Cuts.

In my school-days, whenever we wished to decide some vexed question,—such, for instance, as who should be “It” in playing “Tag,” or who be blindfolded in “Blind-Man’s-Buff,”—we always settled the matter by “drawing cuts” for it. Of course every one knows what that is, but as there may be some poor benighted person who yet remains ignorant of this indisputably fair method of determining matters, I will briefly describe the process. A number of pieces of straw (the wisp of a broom makes a good “cut”), all but one of the same length, are placed together in the hand of a person, the ends only projecting between the thumb and forefinger; in this state, of course, it is impossible to tell which the short piece is. Those interested then each draw a straw, and the one who gets the short piece is the loser; should the person who held the straws, and who must also be an interested party, happen to have the short one left with him, he, of course, is the loser.

I never heard the fairness of this test questioned, and was therefore greatly astonished on being informed lately, by an ingenious friend of mine, that he had discovered a way of cheating in drawing cuts. Of course I suggested, as was only proper, that he might have employed his time more profitably; but as long as he had found out how to do the thing, and there was now no remedy for the evil, I was willing to be shown the secret. In order to show how sensibly he was affected by my reproof, he immediately explained the whole mystery to me, which I will confess I did not see through; and, as it is too good to keep, I will now give it to my readers, with the explicit understanding, however, that they will not divulge it nor act upon it.

As it is easier to explain this with two straws than more, and as the principle is the same,—that is, if a person who cheats his neighbor can lay claim to any principle,—I will take that number to illustrate the trick.

Take two pieces of straw, one an inch and a half and the other two inches long; cut the longer piece into two equal parts, and you have everything ready for your trick. As I wish to make this perfectly clear, I will call the inch-and-a-half piece A, and the other two pieces B and C.

Take B and C, and, placing them end to end, hold them between the thumb and forefinger of the right hand, to give the effect of one straight piece; next lay A alongside them, and close the hand partly, so that the person who is to draw may not be able to see which is the longer piece, as in the figure. Offer the straws to some one to draw. If A happens to be drawn, you exclaim, “Ah, my dear fellow, you’ve lost this time; you’ve drawn the short piece,” and show him B and C; and, as the ends where they are held together are concealed by your fingers, it really appears as if you held the long “cut” in your hand. If, however, B should be drawn, you still claim to have won, and, pulling out A with the fingers of your left hand, you hand it to the one who drew under pretence of letting him compare the length of the pieces, whilst you let C, which is still between the fingers of your right hand, drop on the floor. “Drawing cuts” in this way is very similar to the equally fair game of “Heads, I win; tails, you lose,”—the only caution necessary being that you do not use the same straws twice, as your trick would then be easily and deservedly detected.

P. H. C.


At ten years of age, Davy was scarcely taller than a flour-barrel, and it was decided that he would never be able to look over that familiar article. A tiny, delicate waif, he seemed most like some pretty flower that had blown, by chance, in a kitchen garden, without any one to tend and nurture it according to its needs; for Davy’s home was an almshouse, his toys the chips and blocks and rusty nails that collected in the yard from time to time, his playmates the rough ragamuffins who slept under the same roof as himself,—hardy little fellows, who had inherited quick tempers and poverty in common with Davy, but to whom Nature had added the further endowment of rosy cheeks and healthy frames she had denied to him. But, after all, Davy had his aspirations, his miniature day-dreams, his castles in the air. He aspired to be a man,—to be a tall man, and wear a coat like the overseer’s, and go wherever he pleased, and do as he liked, and read without spelling his words, like the clergymen who visited the almshouse, and to earn his own living. Wasn’t it odd that he should have set his heart on this? Poor Davy! he really believed there would come a day when all the benefits of manhood should be his own; when he would leave the gloomy almshouse and its uncouth inmates, all but old Aunt Nancy,—Aunt Nancy, who was everybody’s aunt, perhaps because she had never been anybody’s; who tucked him up on cold winter nights, and sung to him with her quavering voice, and cosseted him as well as her slender means would allow. He used to stroke her gray hair, and say: “Dear Aunt Nancy, when I’m a man, I will buy you a red gown and a rocking-chair; and you shall live in my house, and keep your myrtle-tree in the sunny windows; and your pussy shall sleep all day before the fire, and nobody shall tread on its tail,—when I’m a man.”

And so Davy used to plan about being a man, till one day when the overseer set the other boys to piling wood in the yard. Davy was seldom given any such tasks, because he was such an infant; so he built mud forts, while the others worked away at the wood, some of them secretly envying the little engineer.

“Why don’t Davy pile wood?” asked one, at length.

“Don’t you see? Because he’s too little,” was the reply.

“No, I’m not too little,” said Davy, who really seemed to sleep with one ear open, and eagerly resented being called little; so he caught at the sticks almost as long as himself, and tugged and pulled and piled them with a will, till his hands were torn and his strength exhausted. Then he sat down on a log, and listened to the boys, as they talked of what they should do when they grew up,—for they all seemed infected with the desire of “growing up.”

One lazy little fellow fancied he would be a shoemaker, “Because he sits all day on a bench, and pegs away like a clock.”

“And that’s awl!” put in the would-be wit.

“I am going to be a farmer, and have lots of apple-trees,” remarked another, who was uncomfortably fond of apples, since he seldom got them.

“And I’ll be a soldier, and have a gun that will go Bang!” continued another.

“Humph!” rejoined a fourth, “I won’t be any of those things; I’ll be a tailor,—I will,—and have as many new coats as I like.”

“Well, I mean to be like Mr. Blue; I heard some one say he was the richest man in town, and a banker; so I’m going to be a banker!” declared one more ambitious than his neighbors.

“A banker!” they all sang out, opening their eyes and mouths at the same time; “what’s that?”

“I don’t know,” answered the young banker, rather brought to bay; “but that’s no matter. O, he takes money out of a bank!”

“Well,” said Davy, rising, and thrusting his hands into his empty pockets, “I’m going to be a man to put money into the bank.”

“Pooh,” returned the tailor, “you won’t ever be a man; you’re nothing but a dwarf.”

“Never be a man! Sha’n’t I?” Davy asked of the others, all white and trembling at the idea.

“Keep still,—can’t you?” said the little shoemaker to the tailor; “don’t you know better than to twit a fellow? If he doesn’t grow to be a man, he won’t have to do a man’s work,—will he?”

“But that’s what I want to do when I grow up.”

“You won’t ever grow up, I tell you,” persisted the wicked tailor. “You will never be anything but a baby, and by and by you’ll be taken round for a show. There!”

Davy’s eyes glowed like sparks, he shook like a leaf, doubled up his tiny fists, and declared war.

“Pooh!” said the tailor again, as if he were blowing a feather, “I am not going to fight you; I should knock you into a cocked-hat-and-cane in a minute.”

This was too great a blow to Davy’s dignity, and he fled, and hid himself in a dim passage-way, where his wrath could dissolve into tears, and he take heart to disbelieve his mischance. While the great sobs tore their way up, as if they would bear his little life away with them, some one came along the passage, and laid a gentle hand on Davy. “Crying? What’s the matter with my little man?” It was the clergyman, on his semi-weekly visit at the almshouse.

“I’m not a man. I never shall be a man,” cried Davy, forgetting all his awe of the great man; “he said I shouldn’t. I’m a dwarf, and he can knock me into a cocked-hat-and-cane. O, I hate him,—I do!”

“I had much rather be a dwarf than hate any one, Davy,” Mr. Kirk answered him.

“You—you would? Isn’t it, then, so bad to be a dwarf?”

“Not so bad as to hate; not bad at all, only a little inconvenient.”

“But I don’t know, sir; what do you mean?” sobbed Davy,—“I shall always be a little boy?”

“We all have a soul, you know, as well as a body,” began the good clergyman.

“O yes, I feel it here!” said Davy, pressing a hand on his breast.

“Well, then, did you feel it just now when you hated some one?”

“O, I forgot it then; I only thought about—about my body.”

“Yes; so you see that, when you hate, it dwarfs your soul; and a dwarfed soul is a much greater misfortune than a dwarfed body.”

“Then my soul will grow, if I am not wicked? Will it grow to be a man’s soul? as big as a man’s?”


“I don’t see—” said Davy; “won’t it grow too big for my body?”

“In that case you will be given a spiritual body,” said Mr. Kirk, feeling that the child could understand him; and then he went on to tell him that this present body was the temple of his soul, that through it all his worship must ascend to God; and, no matter how small or misshapen it might be, one should not despise it, nor grieve about it, if only one preserved it, unsoiled by ill-temper and unholiness, a pure shelter for the wayfaring soul.

So at last Davy dried his tears, and forgave the naughty tailor, and tried hard to put up with being a dwarf. But, somehow or other, he couldn’t enjoy himself as before; all his castles in the air were tumbling down about his ears, and he couldn’t find heart to build more, nor materials even. It seemed to him every day harder to keep down the angry words when the others provoked him, and he would think, “If I were only as big as they, I think I could do it”; and then he would remember that the victory would be so much the greater as he was smaller, and so he often stopped short in the middle of a cross word, and got the better of himself. He declined to have Aunt Nancy tuck him into bed any longer, fancying that, if he couldn’t have the stature of a man, he might at least have a man’s independence in a measure; but Aunt Nancy brought the argument of tears to bear against his pride, and he relented. He marked off his height with charcoal against the white wall, and every morning ran to see if he had not gained upon himself. In his dreams, like Jack’s beanstalk, he grew into the heavens, and on such occasions he could hardly persuade himself, after waking and remeasuring, that he had not overstepped the black mark. Mr. Kirk surprised him, one morning, taking the gauge of his inches. “You are thinking too much about it, Davy,” said he; “which of us by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature?” And Davy neglected to measure himself thereafter.

One day a stranger came to see Mr. Screwum, the overseer; and Mr. Screwum, having a great deal of sympathy for the towns-people who were taxed to support the almshouse, and very little for the town’s poor,—Mr. Screwum, I say, made Davy over to the stranger for a certain time, to be exhibited wherever the stranger pleased,—as the wicked little tailor had said, to “be made a show.”

You may imagine the distress of poor Davy, so sensitive as he was; to be shown off by gaslight, nightly, to a thousand people; standing on the backs of chairs, acting in pantomimes, singing comic songs, dancing hornpipes till his head was lighter than his heels, cracking other people’s jokes, and breaking his own heart.

It would have been strange indeed, if the old Adam had not risen in him then; and often, when the audience expected something comic of him, he had half a mind to tell them, boldly, that it was probable their eyes and ears had been given them for more Christian uses than to go out of their way to see and hear a dwarf make a fool of himself.

But all this was not to last long; he got a fall one day,—a fall that injured his spine, the doctors said, and Davy was sent back to the almshouse; and there old Aunt Nancy cared for him in her feeble but affectionate way; there Mr. Kirk came often, and read to him tender Bible lines; and there, last of all, came the little tailor, begging Davy to forgive him “before he went to be an angel.”

And so, one evening, when the sunset yet smouldered in the west, Davy sent for Mr. Kirk. “Poor Aunt Nancy,” said he, “I had promised her such a pretty red gown and a rocking-chair when I grew up; and now, you know, I shall never grow up.”

“I will see to that,” said Mr. Kirk.

“But I shall be changed,—you said?”

“We shall all be changed,—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.”

“And I shall not be a dwarf any longer? I shall be a man,—shall I not? a man like you?” and he caressed the clergyman with his failing fingers.

“Dear child,” said he, “not like me, but like Him; who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body.”

“In the twinkling of an eye,” repeated Davy, smiling back on him from the threshold of eternity; and in a minute more the great gates had closed behind him, and the minister sat alone.

Davy had left the almshouse forever.

Mary N. Prescott.


From what I hear read and sung, I suppose it is very much the thing to be overcome when one visits his birthplace. I went to mine, and felt very comfortable. I didn’t cry for two reasons. 1st. I am happy to say Miss Alice made me without any water-works and wheezing machinery such as men, women, children, dogs, cats, ducks, &c., &c., &c., have to carry about with them, and which are sure to go off with a disagreeable drizzle and bang unless you handle them “just so.” 2d. I saw nothing to cry about; I was glad I was born; being born, I was glad to see the place; and, seeing the place, was glad I was born there. But I must just say, in passing, that when I saw the beautiful little dimpled hands which had fashioned me, I wondered for a moment how they could have created me, stitch by stitch, without rounding me into something of their own dainty grace. But Queenie loves me! I dare not say as much about this pleasant household as I would, did not the Young Folks go there every month. Indeed, the young house-papa says he thinks he might as well take no other periodical than this, for it just suits his fancy, and is the only magazine which he always reads from beginning to end! My birthplace was a cosey country-house on Long Island Sound. It has an orchard dappled with daisies on one side, grandpapa’s house and grounds on the other, a croquet-lawn in front for pleasant days, and a broad hall and verandas for rainy days, and an Alderney cow for always. Then there are the children! but I must be careful of my adjectives here, lest I harm the darlings. Wise little Kittie had just set up a canary-bird in a cage. “She’s a female bird, papa says, and so she can’t sing much, but then she looks pretty, just the same,” was Kittie’s introduction to this idol of hers. “She,” being “a female bird” and not singing “much,” was appropriately named Major; and as to her “looking pretty, just the same,” it’s a matter of taste, I suppose; and perhaps Major was as bright and glossy, and had as many tail-feathers, as could be expected of her, seeing she was never left to herself five minutes at a time during Kittie’s waking hours.

“For everywhere that Kittie went

 Major was sure to go.”

That cage was lugged about from parlor to bedroom, from playhouse to lawn, from grandpapa’s to the bath-house; and, whenever the little maiden rested, it was sure to be close to the miserable Major’s cage, with her straight little nose perked between the bars, so that Major could not even get a chance to take a bath, and might as well have been an empress for all the comfort and retirement she had.

Kittie’s sorest trial was that it wasn’t thought best to allow Major the range of the dinner-table, or the undivided half of her own bed in the nursery.

As for Alice the less, she was a jolly little mortal, who had a way of prancing about in very loose costume those hot July days. Having been neatly dressed by her nurse, and duly inspected by mamma or grandmamma or Aunt Alice, and pronounced all right, the next thing one would see would be a round little figure, becomingly dressed in drawers only, racing across the croquet-ground; or a little witch with nothing on but a dress, and that somebody’s else, and wrong side before at that, running down the sidewalk just as the people were pouring out of the church opposite!

Cally was Queenie’s favorite, I must say; and he tried hard to be her true knight, but there were difficulties. Aunt Alice found the little fellow growling to himself in a corner, his black eyes snapping. “Why, Cally! what is the matter?” “She’s real mean,—she is!” shaking his head indignantly at our baby, who sat chattering away over a house she had built for me with Cal’s blocks, which she called hers. “O Cally! she is your company, and you must not talk about her in that impolite way.” “I tell ye, she’s real mean! She may have ’em coz I’ve got to be polite to my company, but she mustn’t call ’em hers. She’s real mean,—she is.” And Cally isn’t the only one who likes to have his sacrifices appreciated to the full. It was fun to watch this little knight and lady, who couldn’t bear to be apart, but the moment they approached each other the sparks began to fly. But I was proud of them when they set off on their rides together, for my fascinating birthplace had two rocking-horses! One was short and low, and serviceable for even very little legs, and was called Old Kate; but the other was as grand as anybody’s horse, with real soft hair, and flashing eyes, and streaming mane, and floating tail, and was named for the very best governor in all these United States, who had given him to the little boy.

Queenie was wild with delight over “Goveney Buckeney.” When Cal was out of the way, she would put her own little hat and sack upon the beautiful horse, and wrap his stately head in her shawl, and, after patting him, to make him rock faster, would kiss him so lovingly that it was enough to make any Governor fly. But he was quite too tall and fiery for her to ride safely alone, so she had to be content with loving and patting and feeding and making a “clothes-horse” of him; and, when she wished to ride, she was mounted on “Old Kates” (as she called it), while little Cal dashed off on the “Governor”; and a splendid pair they made. But the sharpest dispute the babies had was over this peaceable namesake of the noble governor. Black-eyes threw down the challenge with a snap and a comical smile, as they were breathing their horses after a race. “Your Old Kate hasn’t got any tail! See what a great long tail my horse has got!” Blue-eyes, who was busy trying to tie my legs in a bow-knot around Old Kate’s thick neck, waited till she was sure it couldn’t be done, and then said mincingly, “He tail isn’t velly long!” This drove little Cal almost frantic, and quite back to first principles (if you know what that means). “God doesn’t love children that say big horses’ tails ain’t very long!” “Yes, he do!” “No, he don’t, coz it’s quarrelling”; whereupon both disputants set up a melancholy howl, and had to be carried off the field, “yes-he-do”-ing and “no-he-don’t”-ing long after they were out of sight and hearing of each other.

As for me, I was quite a hero in this visit. If somebody else would be kind enough to say it, I would be much obliged; but, as nobody offers, I will just mention that I was even considered a beauty! that is, in comparison with a great-uncle of mine, whom the children had been making much of (from Kittie down) for four or five years. They had made so much of him, indeed, what with “washing and starching, and laying him out to dry” (as it says in the Frog fairy story), that, when their papa marked on the post the height of each child, their Jack, who of course had to be measured too, was found to be nearly as tall as little Cal! I can’t say as much of his breadth; the truth is he was rather slim and stringy; but the children loved him dearly, so what did a few inches more or less matter? But I confess the future looked somewhat dark to me, as I gazed at it through the at-ten-u-a-ted figure of my great-uncle, and imagined Queenie’s ability to tie bow-knots, &c., &c. increased till it equalled her present disposition so to do!

It was as hot as July could make it during our visit; but Queenie persisted in wearing most of the time a large blanket-shawl pinned around her neck, and trailing behind, while I was wrapped in another! “O, you’re a little goose!” cried Cal, as he met this little woollen bundle floundering along the veranda; and then, remembering his manners, he quickly added, “No, you ain’t; you’re a swan,—a little golden swan”; which I thought was very polite under the circumstances.

The morning after we arrived, we were called to prayers in the parlor. Queenie was so busy, giving me a break-neck ride on “Goveney Buckeney,” that she didn’t wish to leave, “Se don’t want any payers.” I, being braided into the mane by one leg, and held fast in Queenie’s hand by the other, felt more disposed for prayers than she did,—almost as much so as Captain Scott, the old hunter, did in his buffalo hunt. Don’t you know that story? The brave old man was out alone on a prairie, and charged at a herd of buffaloes. One furious bull turned so suddenly upon him that his horse was frightened, and threw his rider over his neck; but Captain Scott caught at his mane, and held on for dear life, while the crazed horse plunged headlong into the herd. “I thought it was time to pray,” said the old hunter, afterwards, as he told the story, “and so I tried to think what to say; but all I could remember was the prayer my mother taught me when I was a little shaver at her knee:—

Now I lay me down to sleep’;

so I said that, and it took me safe through!”

“O yes, you do, Queenie; all the children come to prayers.”

“Well, se will.” So she sat in her mamma’s lap, holding my old woolly head against her pretty cheek, while the children’s stately grandmother read a chapter from the Bible with her sweet voice. After this, each of the children repeated a text and a verse from a delightful book called “The Children’s Bread.”

Kittie.—“The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one.

“I’ll try to bear some fruit that’s good

   Before the summer’s past,

 Lest, like a worthless weed, I should

   Be rooted out at last.”

Alice.—“I am the Good Shepherd.

“How happy are the lambs who love

   In some safe fold to rest!

 I have a Shepherd, too, above

   The gentlest and the best.”

Then came little Cal, in a very deep, emphatic tone, as much like his sea-captain grandpapa’s as he could make it: “I am sorry for my sin.

“ ’Tis not enough to say

   We’re sorry and repent,

 And still go on from day to day

   Just as we always went.”

And every day we were there, little Cal, at morning prayers, was “sorry for his sin” in the same deep, emphatic tone, and still went on, from day to day, just as he always went, for aught I saw to the contrary, (which, by the way, wasn’t a bad way at all,) while the little girls had fresh verses, perfectly committed, for every new day. But we had to hasten away from this pleasant home to get ready for a long sojourn at

Charles Island.

We first went down and spent a day, in order to select our rooms, &c.; and the consequence was that I had to go through a new performance twenty times a day. “Tome, Jimmy-Jack! tome twick; you must have your baf (bath) now.” So Queenie crowded and twisted me into one of the little robes she had worn when a “long baby.” “Now he’s goin’ to kick! why, so he is!” (dancing me up and down so fast that I hadn’t a chance to kick.) “Be dood, Jimmy-Jack, and when you get down to Charles Island I’ll put on some lovoly pellicoats on you: a blue pellicoat and a black pellicoat and a flannel black pellicoat,—lots o’ pellicoats.” And the night before we left home for the seaside, after mamma had left us quiet in bed,—Queenie, in her flannel night-drawers, and I in my new bathing-dress (her baby-robe),—there was a great outcry heard by the people at the tea-table. There was a rush up to the nursery, where I was found bagged in Queenie’s little trousers, while the little Yankee, who was making her first experiment in “swapping,” was standing upright in the crib, shrieking with all her might, and not without reason; for, not understanding that she was now more than three times as big as she had been when the baby-slip fitted her, she had thrust her wrists into the sleeves, which bound them fast above her head,—twisted at that,—while the long skirt flapped about her face.

I felt quite mortified, when we arrived, bag and baggage, at Charles Island, to have Queenie go rushing up from the landing toward an old saw-horse, which the wood-cutter had left out of place, crying, “There’s Goveney Buckeney! put me on twick!” But the truth is, she was, and still is, so bewitched by the beautiful “Governor” that she sees him everywhere and in everything.

But I haven’t told you about Charles Island. It is a little green spot on Long Island Sound. At very low tide, the water settles back from a narrow bar which stretches across to the shore, and, for an hour or two, if you are not afraid of a jolting, you can go forward and backward, either on foot or by carriage; but, at all other times, the waters prevail, and make a lonely little island of the pretty green spot.

Whether Nature or the Indians made this bar, nobody knows; but it looks and feels like the work of Dr. Holmes’s Giantess and her children three,—

“Screaming and throwing their pudding about,

  Acting as they were mad”;

all of which and more happened at Dorchester (as you can read in Dr. Holmes’s poems); but possibly, in those marvellous days, some of the plums flew over to Connecticut, and hardened into those horrible rocks and pebble-stones of Milford Bar.

There was room on the island for just one large house, besides the laundry and bowling-alleys and dancing-pavilion. Then there were walks shaded by cherry-trees, a pleasant garden, a pond with a fountain in the middle, and a fat, lazy seal who wore his clothes altogether too tight, and a few dozen fish which saw more of the seal than we did, being all favored (?) with an “inside view” before the season ended. On land there were two cows and a horse, and ten little black-and-white pigs, and hundreds of chickens, and geese and turkeys and ducks, and one sickly specimen of “the king of birds,” which skulked under the piazza like any cowardly commoner, and which Queenie always called the “Neagleboy,” because she was fond of hearing those verses about

“ ‘What is that, mother?’

  ‘An eagle, boy!’ ”

and didn’t mind the stops.

This island was a quiet, lovely place. Little steamboats came twice daily, and, bright evenings, many people came from the city just for the cool sail and a pleasant dance; but the pavilion was so far from the house that the noise did not wake us. But, the first night we spent there, our baby waked at midnight, and, hearing the gay music, panted out: “When se gets big, like a lady, se can dance to the music-house, mamma!”

Rainy days were not very dull at the island, for the rooms and halls were large, and broad verandas wound around the house above and below, so there was space enough for the children. There was a quiet little boy six years old, whom Queenie patronized as if he had been her grandson. He came to play with her one rainy day, and the first thing she did was to put him to bed in the corner, on a pile of shawls, bathing-dresses, towels, &c. “Lie still, little boy, and don’t roll out of bed. I’ll fits the chairs so you can’t. Be pasunz, little boy, Jimmy-Jack’s coming to lie with you; two little babies in one bed!” Wasn’t that hard upon two young fellows like us? There we had to lie for politeness’ sake, and let her turn us over, and smother us, and make guys of us generally, at her own sweet will. Eugene didn’t love her so well as I, so his “pasunz” gave out first, and he rolled away under the real bed to get out of her way; which she liked just as well, for she piled up the chairs so he couldn’t get out: “Lie still, little mousie, and let me shut you up so you can’t get out of the coop. I’ll shut you up in the crirary” (she knew there was a library for books, so she also talked about a “crirary” for people who cried and fretted!) “with Jimmy-Jack seal. He’s a weal seal.” I should have felt outraged at this, hadn’t I known that the seal didn’t look in her eyes as it did in others. Indeed, she told some visitors, after she had spent a day at the island, “I went to Charles Island, and saw a pretty little keeture with blue eyes, and it was a seal!”

But our favorite rainy-day companion was Maria,—or, as her brother called her, “for short,” she said, “Steamboatpussexpressmygatt!” There’s a name for you! and it belonged to a bright, capital little girl, I can tell you. Queenie wanted her to go right to drawing “poosey-cats,” as soon as she came in; but she said, “No, I can’t make a pussy-cat; but I can make a little boy falling down hill!” I fancied Queenie wouldn’t accept such a strange substitute at all; but she was very gracious, and while Maria wrinkled her forehead and pinched her fingers, and darted out her tongue over her work, the darling smiled approvingly upon her from under the strip of old muslin which she had insisted should be tied round her head, while I was seated in the window, with my head on one side, and my arms folded, to think, as Maria said! And “think” I did. One thought I remember was that “Steamboatpussexpressmygatt’s” little boy was not so very different from one of Queenie’s “poosey-cats.” However, the artist and her critic grew tired before the final tumble was pictured, and they fell to playing, instead, that Queenie was sick in bed, and Dr. S. P. E. M. had come to prescribe for her; but this had to be given up, too, because the patient would keep rolling out of bed on purpose.

Then it was decided that my “think” was over, and I must have a drive. (Grandpapa had sent over a gay little turnout with a red body and blue wheels and a black hood.) Miss Steamboat &c. &c. managed this excursion of mine. “The hack will be at the door at eleven o’clock. I must make a young lady to go and ride with him. First he must go and invite her. ‘Will you have the honor to go and ride with me this forenoon?’ ‘Yes, sir. Sit down in the parlor while I get ready,’ ” answered my yet-to-be-made young lady by the mouth of Steamboat &c. &c., who next proceeded to make said young lady out of a couple of mussed towels! I doubt if many real young ladies could have made themselves up so quickly for a drive, although they don’t have to begin quite so far back.

When my Eve was done, I was made to help her into the carriage with an awful groan (which I protest came from “Steamboatpussexpressmygatt,” and not at all from me, who am far too polite), as if the graceful creature had weighed a ton! She was a little stout, and filled the carriage so that I had to sit with one leg outside. “But that’s fashionable,” said Maria; “there’s a man in our town that carries meat around, and he’s lame, and he always rides with one foot out!”

Then they made a breakfast-party for me, for which Queenie gave the orders in her generous style: “Gie him some puddin’, and ice-cream, and corn-bread and seeup, and some coffee, and ware woast beef,—and some chicken,—ware, velly ware”; and while I was waiting for some of these goodies to appear, she said, reproachfully, “Why, Jimmy-Jack! You didn’t ask a blessin’ a single bit!” but just then grandmamma came in, and was told “Jimmy-Jack is eating his breakfast, and he’s got some lovol-ly fite clover to eat!” So you see my meals had great variety and—were very uncertain!

The island had a treasure for the children better than gold or diamonds. This was fine white sand, in which Queenie made pictures, not being old enough even yet to understand what bliss there is in making mud-pies. “I maked a neagleboy, mamma; and he hadn’t any legs, but he has a lovol-ly nose. Now dig me a poosey-cat, and make me a poosey-cat’s dolly.” Wasn’t that an idea? I should like to see once just what a kitten’s doll can be like!

“Grandpapa Tilde” always makes two or three mysterious circles in his letters which are all for Queenie, so she begged mamma to make her a “round kiss” in the sand; and, before anybody knew what she was doing, she had taken it off on her sweet lips, as she was used to do with the paper kisses,—which wasn’t so nice.

Over the Bar.

But the time came for us to leave our pleasant watering-place; and, as we were to pay a visit at a beautiful country-house on the main shore, our nearest way to reach it was to watch the tide, and drive over the bar. But the tide had turned before we were ready to set forth (I hadn’t any clothes in the laundry to hinder them, I am happy to say); and, when we finally left the island, it was something after the style of your old friend John Gilpin. First went the luggage-wagon; next went grandmamma in a light buggy, with bags and baskets, and the loose linen which had delayed us flying all around her as she hurried on; and last went an old carryall, drawn by the one horse of the island (the others were imported for the occasion), in which (the carryall) were stowed away Hoppergrass, and Queenie, and her mamma, and me. As it was the business of this horse to drag barrels of water, hour after hour, from the dock to the hotel, and as he had been taught to go very steadily with this burden, he couldn’t get the idea out of his faithful but stupid old head, that his present load was very thin and sloppy, and likely to spill over unless he measured his steps very carefully. Besides this, the flies were almost thicker than the pudding-stones on the bar; and old Pokey would come to a dead stand-still every other minute, and lift up first one hind foot and then the other, and solemnly rap at the tormentors,—which, as we had no spare minutes and no whip, was very trying. Faster and faster the tide sprang toward us, slower and slower crept old Pokey. Our luggage was already safely over, and flying along the beach on the other side. Grandmother and the loose linen were beginning to furl sail as they drew near the harbor, while we stood fast in the middle of the bar, catching flies! It was no time for ceremony; so our driver seized a parasol, and punched old Pokey. “Another pestilent fly!” thought he, as he stopped and struck at the print of the parasol-tip with both hind feet and tail (one after the other fortunately, and not all at once). The waves seemed to see the joke of all this better than we. They leaped saucily up over our wheels and old Pokey’s legs, and gurgled with laughter over our distress. The bath was so agreeable to old Pokey that he settled his hoofs down among the sand and rocks (which shone like pure gold through the now deep water) as if he meant to go no farther, and even made some motions as if he thought of lying down! But, to make a long story short, by the aid of two parasols, old Pokey was changed into old Jerky, so that, just as the water had climbed to the very edge of the carriage-body, we reached the beach on the main-land, which was hard and sure, although overflowed with a broad river; and, as we looked back for our path, not a trace of the bar was to be seen!

The country-seat to which we had come was called Island-view, and from its windows and lofty tower could be seen, not only the little green spot we had just left, but many other lovely and more distant views, both by land and sea. The house itself was new and elegant; but I was glad to see that nobody thought it, or anything it contained, too good for the children. And it was well it was so, for there were no fewer than seven little people under seven years old under its roof!

At half past five the children’s supper was laid in a little side-room, upon their own low centre-table. There were seats around it for three of the children of the house,—Mamie, Lilly, and Bessie, and for their cousin Ethel, from New York, besides Queenie and me; while Winthrop, the beautiful house-baby, and Reginald, the New York Ethel’s baby-brother, sat each on his nurse’s knee at a side-table. Such a pretty sight as it was! Queenie was so absorbed in watching so many busy little mouths that she lost the way to her own several times, and both she and I were punctuated all over with dots and exclamation-points by the big Lawton blackberries; so, when mamma said to her, “Say good night to the children, with your dirty face,” she looked all about the happy circle, and said, “Good night, chillun with dirty face!”—which wasn’t a bad hit, since the twelve other little hands had made berry-slides as well as hers.

It was very puzzling to Queenie to hear another little girl called by her name, and she couldn’t help looking at her a good deal. “Big Ethel” (how big and old she and Mamie seemed to the others!—seven years!) admired me very much (as did all these lovely children, indeed), and asked how old I was. “Pitty well and five months!” answered Queenie.

Next morning mamma waked us by giving Queenie thirty-six kisses. “That is because you are thirty-six months old” (I wonder did mamma mean to cheat, or was it her blundering arithmetic? for the little girl was just two and a half years old) “darling!”

“No, I’m pitty well and five months!”

“You were two years and five months yesterday; but how old did I say you were to-day?”

“Thirty-six years old, mamma!”

By the way, I don’t see but you people who are made of dust, instead of bright-colored worsteds like me, have as much fuss over your age as you do with your growth (that is, you little people; for I have noticed that, when all the stuff that can be spared for them is stirred in, they not only stop growing, but keep quieter about their age). “Grandpapa Tilde” tells of a little fellow, who said, “First I was nar old, then I was half old, and then I was year old; and I dunno what they call it now!” And I knew of a little girl whose head was more puzzled than mine over this matter. Somebody asked her how old she was. “I don’t know anything about it,” said she, half crying; “I used to be two, and then I used to be three, but ma keeps changing it!” Now, how much better it is to have all these things fixed at the very beginning, when one is “nar old,” so that “ma” or anybody else cannot change them!

Was there ever such a place as that same Milford for children? We went to “Uncle Nate’s” to dine on Queenie’s two-and-a-half birthday, and there again was a delightful house running over with babies,—Sophie, and Belle, and Charley, and Nick, and Nathalie, besides Queenie and another little visitor named Mamie. This house Queenie called “other Mifford.” It had, like “Uncle Charley’s” house, pleasant grounds all about it, and a conservatory and grapery and garden, and, what was most fascinating of all, a little mouse in a green cage! Then there was the old dog Cub, who looked at me, and growled as if he thought I was a personal affront, and could have made mince-meat of me (I guess he would have found me pretty tough and stringy, for he hadn’t any teeth!) if he hadn’t been too comfortable under the grand old apple-tree to leave his bed. And last of all, and better than even the mouse to Queenie, was a handsome “Goveney Buckeney” on the piazza.

The little girl was to go back to Island-view before dinner, which was just her bed-hour; but there came a thunder-storm, so she had the pleasure of dining in state. Little Nattie (who was half a year younger) and she sat at a marble slab opposite the dinner-table, with a beautiful bouquet in the middle, just like the grown people’s table, and a big mirror before them, so they could make eyes at themselves, and find their own mouths, without any trouble. After this Miss Queenie trotted off into a bedroom by herself, and climbed into Charley’s very own big crib, and rolled herself and me up so tight that there we had to lie; and when the little master came in, dressed for bed, behold little Silver-Hair had possession! But he was delighted with so good an excuse for getting into his mamma’s bed in the same room; and there we lay and smiled at each other till the thunder ceased, and the great moon swept away the clouds, and then Queenie and I were done up in a bundle, and driven home as fast as possible. This was a great lark for such early birds as we were, and we slept late the next morning. We were astonished to hear at the breakfast-table that there had been a big party in the house the last night (a “surprise-party” they called it; but Mamma Lizzie had guessed what was coming, and surprised the surprisers by having her house all illuminated as they came creeping up under the trees, and John standing ready to open the door with his white gloves on), with a band playing in the hall, and dancing on the verandas,—all without waking one of the seven babies! Big Ethel and Mamie thought at first that it wasn’t quite fair that they were not invited, when they heard that Cousin Sophie and Belle, from “other Mifford,” had actually come to the party with their hair crêpé and all that, but they soon forgot all about it. After breakfast the children had their surprise-party, which was much better in all respects than the grown-up one. “Jelly,” as Queenie called Coachman Jerry, led up to the house a beautiful greyhound, which their papa had brought them. “Lily” was very fond of children, and had been used to drawing them about in a little cart, so that she made herself at home immediately. When Winnie stuck his sharp little nails into her skin, and cried “Illy, Illy!” at the same time that Reginald was tasting her tail, and Queenie offering meJimmy-Jack!—to her to be kissed, she only winked a little faster than usual, but never growled at them, nor nibbled (nor kissed) me. Then “Jelly” brought the horses to the door. The two mammas, holding Winnie and Queenie, sat on the back seat, and Winnie’s papa and Queenie’s grandmamma in front. Of course, I was there; and, just as we were starting, “Beppie,” as she called herself,—a perfect little rolly-poly,—rolled along the piazza, the corners of her mouth drawn down in the absurdest way at the thought of being left behind. So a spare hat of baby Winthrop’s was stuck on her head, and she was bundled in. Beppie was known as the “riot baby,” because she was born in the midst of that dreadful riot in New York, with her hair standing up an inch high all over her head at the idea of coming into such a disagreeable world. Now Beppie’s three years hadn’t yet reconciled her to things about her so but that her hair would stick out like a halo around her jolly little pate at the least provocation, so she looked funnier than you can guess under a boy’s broad Leghorn hat.

This drive was Lily’s first excursion with her new owners, but she followed us as if she had never known anybody else. Nothing could be grander and more dignified than was she until she caught sight of a flock of geese. Before one could say Jack Robinson (did anybody ever hear anybody say Jack Robinson, I would just like to know?) a great white cloud was driving through the air with a streak of lightning after it,—geese the cloud and Lily the lightning! There are a great many geese in that town (a hundred times as many geese as children, I should think, which is saying a great deal), and every goose that Lily saw she went crashing after, which was trying to her new owners, who wished to be in good repute with their neighbors. One flock took to the water, and she, not being a Pond Lily, stayed on shore, and ran out her tongue at them; but, the moment they began to hiss her, she dropped her tail between her legs, and trotted off. However, when we drove into a clear brook to water the horses, down Lily lay in the cool mud, and came out painted in half-mourning, feeling and stepping as grand as ever, but looking very queer. What with Lily and the ever-present geese, the drive was rather distracting, but Winnie went to sleep. Beppie the rioter, who can’t say S, asked, “Mamma, did Winnie go to pleep?” But he soon waked, and seemed to have a new view of my attractions; for he loved me so hard that it quite brought back old times, when I first knew Queenie. Mamma Lizzie put a gold chain round my neck, which somebody was impolite enough to say made me look like a South Sea idol; but Queenie and Winnie thought it very becoming to me, and felt much injured that it was taken from me when we reached home.

I suppose you have heard of the hay-fever; well, it just raged at Island-view, and it is a miracle that I lived through it. From the moment when the first blade of grass was cut on the lawn till the last wisp was safe in the barn, I didn’t see the light or breathe the air! Each of the seven babies had, I should think, at least two carts, which were kept in perpetual motion as long as the hay-fever lasted; and when I wasn’t being raked and pitched and loaded into one of these fourteen carts, I was certainly being loaded and pitched and raked into another. I then appreciated the birth-gift Miss Alice, my good fairy, had bestowed upon me,—a gift you “Young Folks” rarely possess, I should judge,—of being able to keep my mouth shut. That was all that saved me. But I suspect there is so much hay-seed still lodged in my whiskers and scarlet legs and black coat, that, if Queenie chose to plant me anywhere, I should blossom out into the most astonishing crop of “timothy” and clover that ever was harvested.

But Queenie and I must be off to the Green Mountains, and leave these two charming families of cousins behind us. Before we go, however, I must tell sad tales of Lily. She was tenderly loved by the children, and always gentle with them, but, alas! she hated geese and she loved “goodies.” There were mysterious disappearances from the butler’s pantry and the cook’s larder for a long time before any one suspected the real culprit. But one day, when the children came to their tea-table, they found nothing left of the basket of sponge-cakes which their mother had promised them as a special treat but the basket itself; and there stood Lily, looking very innocent as to the soft eyes and wagging tail, but very crumby about the mouth, and the next morning the cook caught her in the very act of snatching a chicken from the gridiron; so all the previous losses were laid to Lily’s charge, and she was sent away in disgrace, although the children all pleaded for her. I met her the other day, walking behind a grave professor across the College Green, looking as if sponge-cakes and spring chickens had never dishonestly passed between her prim lips. She never had seen me before,—O no, never! so her soft demure eyes said; but there was an impudent wink of her tail at me, as the professor passed on, which would lead me to advise him not to turn his attention to the raising of geese (feathered), nor to leave Lily alone with his dinner or his children’s sweet cake.

Mrs. Edward A. Walker.


        Run, little rivulet, run!

        Summer is fairly begun.

Bear to the meadow the hymn of the pines,

And the echo that rings where the waterfall shines;

        Run, little rivulet, run!


        Run, little rivulet, run!

        Sing to the fields of the sun

That wavers in emerald, shimmers in gold,

Where you glide from your rocky ravine crystal-cold;

        Run, little rivulet, run!


        Run, little rivulet, run!

        Sing of the flowers, every one,—

Of the delicate harebell and violet blue;

Of the red mountain rose-bud, all dripping with dew;

        Run, little rivulet, run!


        Run, little rivulet, run!

        Carry the perfume you won

From the lily, that woke when the morning was gray,

To the white waiting moonbeam adrift on the bay;

        Run, little rivulet, run!


        Run, little rivulet, run!

        Stay not till summer is done!

Carry the city the mountain-birds’ glee;

Carry the joy of the hills to the sea;

        Run, little rivulet, run!

Lucy Larcom.


R. Schumann.


C. Spindler.


No. 42.

On my lady’s dress;

In the wilderness,

Dancing on the grass

While the sunbeams pass;

On the curtain;—mat;

On your old straw hat;

Up and down the street,

Where the shadows meet,

And the boughs unwind,

You my first may find.


Every house about,

Both inside and out;

Looking towards the door,

Or upon the floor,

Soon you will agree

You my second see.


For my whole you look;

Find it, like a book,

Or a note unread,

Waiting till your head

And your hands are able,

Laid upon the table.


No. 43.

Write any number of more than one figure. Subtract the sum of the digits from the number, tell me all the figures but one in the answer, and I will tell you the remaining one.

How do I know?

M. B. B.


Aunt Sue.



No. 46.

I am composed of 14 letters.

My 6, 9, 10, 12, is a famous city of Europe.

My 14, 1, 3, 8, 5, is a river in France.

My 4, 12, 3, 13, is an article much worn by ladies.

My 7, 9, 11, is a very useful domestic animal.

My 7, 5, 2, 14, is a place of confinement.

My whole is the name of a celebrated man who figured conspicuously in the time of the Reformation.

T. C. P.

No. 47.

What changes are made in the meaning of words

By altering merely one letter!

Some instances here will amuse you, perhaps,

And puzzle for want of a better.

There’s a word, you’ll agree, commencing with B,

That expresses a cool, pleasant shade;

But remove letter B, and substitute C,

Apprehensively shrinking ’tis made;

Take away letter C, replace it by D,

It will name what’s bestowed on a bride;

Now if D is erased, and by G replaced,

A Welsh word, meaning crooked, is spied.

Thus far very well; now substitute L,

We are going down now you will say;

Letter L shall be gone, and M be put on,

There’s a man cutting grass to make hay;

But when M shall have fled, put P there instead,

It will name what is mentioned of steam;

Pray just now P erase, put R in its place,

There’s a man gliding down with the stream;

But now take R away, put S there, we say

That a farmer at work then it names.

If for S you put T, you surely will see

A noted place close by the Thames.

Annie T.


37.Aspiring man, in striving for honors, see to it that honesty controls you. [(Asp) (eye) (ring) (man in striving) (for on R’s) (seat) O O it (that on S T) (C O N trolls) U.]
38.A sleeping sentinel was once awakened and alarmed by a croaking frog. [(Ace leaping) (cent in L) was (ones) A (wake) (end) & (ale armed) (bee) Y A (crow king) (frog).]
39.Don’t give up the ship.
40.Blessed are they that expect nothing, for they shall not be disappointed.
41.2560 posts. 2560 acres. This farm is two miles square, and contains four “sections” of land.


Many questions come to us which we hesitate about answering for various reasons. Those relating to deportment in society, and what is regarded as etiquette between ladies and gentlemen, can usually be settled by consulting your mother or elder sister, or your own good sense. There are others which the grammar or dictionary will answer much more quickly than we can. Indeed, as both grammars and dictionaries disagree with each other, all we could offer would be merely our opinion, which would not decide the matter. We shall always be glad to help our young folks about things they cannot think out or find out for themselves, if it is in our own power. But we are so certain that it is better for them to do their own thinking and studying, that we are going to give them, now and then, some of the questions which are sent us, agreeing to print the best written answers in the Letter Box, when there is room for them.

Who was Caspar Hauser, and for what crime was he imprisoned?

How is “Yo Semite,” the Californian name, pronounced?

Who invented ink, and when?

When were fire-arms invented?

What should be boiled with egg-shells to make them of different colors?

Who invented the balloon? the windmill?

Who first discovered coal, and when?

When did Beethoven die?

What is considered the best of Mendelssohn’s musical compositions?

Why is “Astrachan” fur so named?

What is the best way to make an Æolian harp?

To various questioners:—

“Marian Douglas” is a nom de plume.

Mr. Trowbridge did write the poem commencing

“The night was made for cooling shade,

    For silence and for sleep.”

Jean Ingelow is an Englishwoman, and her surname is pronounced with the “g” soft.

“Willy Wisp” is not a boy, but a man, with a little boy of his own at home.

“John Halifax” was written by Mrs. D. M. Craik, when she was Miss Dinah M. Muloch.

To find the meaning of “Open, Sesame!” read the “Forty Thieves” in Arabian Nights’ Entertainment.

We discontinued anagrams and transpositions because so few good ones were sent us. An anagram, to be worth preserving, should have some meaning,—the transposed letters suggesting, if possible, the original word. Here are a few, lately received.

A frail coin.California.
I beg a manse.Senegambia.
A torch in a soul.South Carolina.
Stole time.Mistletoe.
I fear no stop.Piano-fortes.
Art true, lie.Literature.

Lewie T. C. We can do nothing with puzzles which have no answers.

Kittie A. W. Your verses are very good, considering your youth, but they are not just what ought to be printed.

Helen N., Lancelot, Pollie Hedron (such puns!), Anna Linden, J. W. M. (the heraldic signs would not probably be guessed), Uncle Joe, Lucile (that subject has been used once), Henry D. C., Floy, Anna May O., S. E. S., Nellie Arnold, “Fern Hollow” (your question is answered elsewhere), Howard, H. F. B., Elmwood (spelling! spelling!), Carrie Stanley (glad that your cooking experiment was so successful), Kittie B. Thank you all.

Cosie says: “I have taken your magazine ever since it commenced, and I think it is the best I ever saw. I think the best story yet is the one entitled ‘A Summer in Leslie Goldthwaite’s Life.’ It always makes me feel as if I, too, had a work to do in this world; and I always put on my ‘rose-colored spectacles’ after reading it. Please tell me if there is not ‘A Winter in Leslie’s Life’ too; and, if there is, can’t we have it?”

Fannie H. R. If you think you would do any good, say so certainly; otherwise, not.

Farming for Boys” is complete in the volume, which contains a great deal more than was ever in the Magazine, both of reading and of pictures.

Here is a letter for you!

Dear Editors:—

“I am a Southern girl, but you must not think any the worse of me for that, for I am not a rebel. I have five sisters and four brothers (two of them younger than I am), and they all are bitter against the North. I used to be before I came up here, but I have heard both sides now, and am as strong a Republican as anybody.

“My sisters all laugh at me, and often come very near scolding me for ‘coming round,’ as they call it. One of my sisters is married, and lives in Cincinnati; her husband was an officer in the Confederate army.

“When I first came up here, I thought the people very cold and distant, and the country seemed so very different from the dear ‘Sunny South’ that I was quite homesick for a while; but when I got a little acquainted, and used to the manners of the people, I liked very much.

“We have been here now over a year, as we came a year ago last winter. My cousins used to laugh a great deal at my way of talking, which they called ‘so funny.’ ‘Mighty’ and ‘right’ they seemed to consider very odd, and I think their rough, slangy expressions seemed quite as queer to me.

“There is one thought that somewhat consoles me when I think of our keeping slaves, and it is this,—my father never whipped a negro. If they behaved badly, he punished them in some other way. One bright little girl we brought with us; her name is Tilly. We read her the story ‘How June found Massa Linkum’ in the May number, and there were tears in her great black eyes when we finished. Some people think negroes have no feelings. They would know better, if they could see Tilly.

“Young folks, do you have to practise four hours a day? If so, you can guess why I close this letter so abruptly by signing myself,

“Ever your friend,

May L.

M. D. T. Yes.

C. W. W. The word is spelled envelope.

Silver Bell sounds a sweet note in “Tell me a story.” The rhythms are not quite perfect, however. Good music is almost always the result of patient practice.

Cora S., and ever so many others. The letters in the Letter Box are not “made up,” but “real.” Good, bad, or indifferent, they are such as the boys and girls themselves send us.

Kate and Susie. Be grateful to the good mother who wants to keep you children until you are grown up. An ambition to be young ladies, for the sake of “flirting” and “wearing long trails,” is not commendable. And as for “having your hair put up” in fashionable style, isn’t it, on the whole, rather better to keep on studying, so as to have something inside of your heads, instead of putting so much care and labor, and—whatever else is stylish, upon the outside?

Victorine. No, the “people who write ‘Our Young Folks’ ” are not quite “ninety,” although some of them are almost half-way there. They would not have so many pleasant things to tell you, if they had not travelled so far and seen so much.

Sundown. Your writing is very handsome, but nobody could guess your double acrostics,—there is no sort of a clew in them.

Herbert sends this ingenious inversion:—

“Dora saw tides united under, & red nude tin used; it was a rod.”

How many of you guessed last month’s puzzle? Don’t all speak at once, please. “Making (k)night hideous?” Yes; that’s right. Now try again, and see how quickly you can find the line for this in the second part of Henry IV., Act III., Scene i.


Mis-spelled words and printer errors have been fixed.

[The end of Our Young Folks. An Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls. Volume 4, Issue 7 edited by J. T. Trowbridge and Lucy Larcom]